As literary artists, we not only see the world deeper, we are able to express through our words and reach many through the articulation of our hearts. Flexwriters is a writing community founded in December of 2007 by published poet/author Tarringo T. Vaughan. Part of [...]
by Jack Campbell. May 16, 2012
Traveler walking the edge of the road.
Not much to look at. Just another bum.
A worthless, lazy sonofabitch, druggie hippie.
What they see in the blink of an eye
from the windows of air conditioned
cars, trucks and vans blasting by
too close for comfort moving at seventy-five.
All in a glance, take it in the story
that you don’t know but believe anyway.
Look, the first thing seen is the long assed hair
tossed in the breeze made by vehicles flying too low.
A sure sign of a wasted life, lazy, misdirected
a definite lack of ambition and self-respect.
It is a shame to a man to have long hair like a woman.
Traveler to be seen, thin almost emaciated.
It’s the drugs you know, Coke, heroin, meth
don’t matter, those things are killers.
Man walking by the road good as dead.
No use shedding a tear for someone
committing slow suicide.
The clothes, oh God, the clothes just filthy,
garish denim shirt, black tee and black jeans
definitely a fashion statement of idiocy.
Sneakers, running shoes, Nike’s a name
that belies the apparent poverty.
Definitely, not someone to give a ride to.
All in a tenth of a second glance got the man pegged
pigeonedhole, defined and categorized.
Scientifically analyzed and evaluated.
Story right there plain to see;
past, present and future.
Got it all figured out already,
Go on the way never giving the second thought.
But if one did think and consider.
The man in the windshield comes
from a different point of view.
Hair be long not cause it’s cool,
It a thing this traveler said
before he began his journey.
‘Til that thing be fulfilled
then no razor shall come upon his head.
Not exactly a Nazarite, but it be
what he can keep and be true to his word.
Traveler drinks, boozes it up
to kill the pain of a busted marriage
wife and kids gone in the rain.
Drugs, numb his inner vision
enough he can cope with making another day.
Why he walks the road; house taken away
couldn’t afford the cost of keeping it
wasn’t home anymore; just another place to stay.
And staying meant living cheek by jowl
with ever present memory
cutting like a sword impaling the heart.
His clothes second hand throw offs,
but what were bought at the Goodwill thrift store
with money earned selling his ass to a horny man.
Mickey D’s not big on hiring fifty year old hippies
who drink and do drugs, but sex sells as they say.
The man thin of frame cause it cost money to eat
and what’s left in dumpsters get kinda old.
Not just drugs that take away the flesh;
maybe diseased on the inside; maybe not.
But there be days of fasting,
where he kills hunger for a higher purpose
according to his belief.
Traveler once had it all together;
lived the American dream.
What’s the word–respectable;
like Clark Kent.
But shit happens and it all came
tumbling down and cascade.
Rapid fire and out on the rocks.
The world hates a loser
and gives no second chances.
Make no mistake;
Traveler takes all the blame.
Maybe traveling at seventy-five
just a glance is all you need to know the truth.
Maybe this tale be preposterous and vain.
But there be others, living under bridges,
and on garbage heaps, in crack houses galore.
See them pushing Wal-Mart shopping carts down the road.
Their stories perhaps more true.
Lives eroded to the point where
all it took was just that last straw,
that last straw, that last straw!
But how do you know if you don’t slow down?
You, yourself are closer to the edge of the road
than you know.