When I heard that the dumpsters are locked
at our neighborhood Dunkin Donuts at night
to keep out the strays and the beggars,
I thought of my grandmother
and her job to travel to the
neighborhood bakery and beg for crumbs
at closing time. I envision her alone,
the youngest of six, adjacent
to an empty sky, a hungry star
and a crystal vision on a cold night.
There is absence of body in memory, extremities
play a role in frost-bitten forgetfulness,
the tarnish of holed shoes
and the news of a bridge
between skin and a windy night.
There is a shiver to this reality, I must say,
and those waiting for yesterday and today.
The mother in hopeless abandon,
the occupation of delay
and seated deliberation. Where is progress
at the confrontation of a closed door?
I see this place, I see young children waiting for stars,
distant landfills consumed by mountains of necessity,
riddled by lonely and frivolous waste.
With a smile, I asked her—
Would she secretly eat anything before arriving home.
She said no and I believe her—
that small, filthy beggar.