In one hand, the ruddy-faced,
ragged wanderer wraps a coffee cup
and his smoke. The other he keeps
in the pocket of his third-hand Mets jacket.
Whether he’s grasping something within
or just trying to keep it warm
is a mystery. Chances are 4-to-1
no cash shares those five fingers’ berth.

Joyous, the drifter throws smiles
like sunbeams right into the faces
of the straight-life, shivering souls with whom
he coasts these stark morning streets.
Their eyes are up too, but they focus
past the runny-nosed no one shuffling nearby,
seeing instead only the faces in the
steamed-up coffee-shop window.

The same familiar, frowning reflections
as yesterday’s.

– Joseph Hesch

© 2014, poem and photograph, Joseph Hesch, All rights reserved

Hesch Profileproduct_thumbnail-3.phpJOSEPH HESCH (A Thing for Words) is a writer and poet from Albany, New York , an old friend of Bardo and a new core team member. Joe’s work is published in journals and anthologies coast-to-coast and worldwide. He posts poems and stories-in-progress on his blog, A Thing for Words.  An original staff member at dVerse Poets Pub website, Joe was named one of Writers Digest Editor Robert Lee Brewer’s “2011 Best Tweeps for Writers to Follow.” He is also a member of the Grass Roots Poetry Group and featured in their 2013 poetry anthology Petrichor Rising.

5 thoughts on “Cold Comfort

  1. I really enjoyed the contrast in this poem, Joseph. To me, it painted a picture of a homeless man in a big city, doing his best to keep warm. And even though the passers-by didn’t seem to notice him, being so intent upon their own, busy lives, he kept throwing them all smiles. How is it that someone with so little could still manage to be joyous, while those with so much more to be thankful for only presented frowns and indifference? Thank you for making me think. It’s a great poem!

    Like

  2. The image of a cup of coffee in the hands of an urban pedestrian is so familiar…the only difference between haves and have nots is the skinny jeans and draped scarf. Thanks for sharing this!

    Like

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