Tuesday, August 11, 2015

On a Bench at Seattle Center

He had clean clothes, a cell phone,
and a full backpack. His tone
was engaging and friendly
when he approached to give
Loverby kudos for nibbling
on my ear as we sat on a park bench
by the water fountain watching
children dance, drenched.
The conversational tape
repeated the same worn out
track getting stuck and
coming back again and again
to homelessness and spankings from a brutal
mother whose holiness required
them both to enjoy the punishment
disguised as discipline. He witnessed paternal
incest destroy his sister as she gave
birth to his biological sister
convoluted as niece. He knew the
color purple too, not as a book or
movie - but by the bruises of war,
and the rejection of two wives. He cried.
I wanted them to be real tears. I wanted him
to feel heard and seen. Isn't that better than
money? When he got around
to get what he came for, our simple and firm
no  made his anger
flair - all his goodwill
flew away stirred
by his flailing arms.