Barefoot, whiskered

to his navel,

a tiny shirtless man laughs up

into the leaves of an autumn tree

aside the asphalt pathway

circling the breezy park,

rocks to and fro to the racket

of a battered boom box

in his cradle of lost music


Young mothers in the fresh morning

pushing buggies, toddlers in hand,

quicken their pace at his sight,

chatter faster and louder

hoping their children

will not hear or see him

as they hurry by,


unaware their little ones

already have

turned and seen him

in a blink

as Lot’s wife did

with a last glance

at the clamor and celebration

of the unfettered life