Saturday, April 27, 2013


Early morning quiet walk
Up the street
Past the dry fountain begging to gurgle again
Counting cyprus trees leaning against a cobalt sky
Guardians of my path

A wild man suddenly blocks my stride
I need help he says
I cringe taught to expect the worst
I can't I say
You must he says

He beckons to a wooden gate
Each piece of cedar familiar to me
Now shuddering from heavy blows
I found him in the middle of the street the wild man says
I locked him in for his own safety

I have to go I say
The gate flies open
A slight very young black man stands very still before me
But his arms dangle willy-nilly at his sides
He shifts from foot to foot
His eyes circle round and round in their orbits

He must like women the wild man says
He struggled fearfully when I pulled him from traffic
I have to be someplace I say
The young man is quiet yet unaware
Heedless and unmindful

You must stay with him
He is calm now but he knows nothing of the world the wild man says
Sit I say to the young man
He sits on the stoop
What is your name but he is silent
Unknowing and oblivious

I call my husband
I call the police
I look for the wild man but he is gone
I count the seconds
The young man sits

A critically missing person the police said
Wondered away from his mother and his home
Sit I said and he sat
Together we waited
He in his world and I in mine

Then he is gone
Back to safety
I sit on the stoop
A temporary mother to a severely disabled son
A bewildered heroine unable to go anywhere

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