May 12, 2012

The Man From Down The Street

Going down the street,
I saw a man staring intently at a wall
I didn't believe he was as old as he looked
because poverty had obviously
taken him as mate for life
and bent him into shape

His clothes were worn from use
and hung loosely on him.
His shirt was carelessly tucked into
the trouser bunched around his waist
by a belt with more broken places
than my lips at the height of harmattan.
The only nice thing on his ensemble
was his shoe - amply scuffed,
worn down at the heels
and polished off with dust

Thoughts shuffled through my mind
and slowly I came to agree that
whatever was on the wall
that could make a man whom
life obviously gave no quarter
Stop! and stare!
Was worth at least a cursory glance
so I walked on to investigate

I was surprised? No!
Disappointed? No!

He was staring at an obituary poster.
His poverty was evidently mirrored
in the dead man staring back at him
and I knew for sure he was wondering
when it will be his turn
and probably if he could get a picture
on a wall too when the time came
then he might finally win a small victory
Against a callous world