Tuesday, October 18, 2011
Old Man Gutter
As long as I can remember he is sweeping the gutters.
They are immaculate, those gutters.
as if his children would eat
from that trough, the sewage of the streets.
I can think of many things I should clean
but the street falls short.
His hair was brown
but it ran down the handle of his broom and into the grate
that said "no dumping" with a cobalt stencil of a fish.
I ain't never seen a cobalt fish
but it makes as much sense as all that sweeping I guess.
In the morning he swept
In the afternoon he swept
And in the evening, oh that poor damn leaf
having loosed itself of the branch
resting peacefully from aerial life,
the last vestige of its color right down the drain
where mysterious cobalt fish now play slap jack with rebellious leaves.
swish swish s w i s h
and his own joy along with it.
His hair is now gray,
as flat and lifeless as the gutter he rid
of everything it tried to gather.