Saturday, April 16, 2011



A prim hobo she boarded the train with a ticket
wearing an orange and black California skirt,
her knees still raw from the playground.

An Oakland bus carried her over the bridge. She lost
her hairdryer but soon her hair was long
frizzy with the wet air; it didn't matter.

To the haunting chime of the trolley,
she rented a tiny apartment on Nob Hill. Standing on the window ledge
she gazed over the rooftops, watched the boats in the harbor
while down in the courtyard the wild cats came to feed.

Her legs ached from walking the steep hills past
mysterious houses behind tall fences, past
the bay, the basking seals. The Sutro baths echoed. The
seed pods strung around her neck clicked.

Everything was free: the food, the clinic, love. The Mime Troupe played
for free in the city parks, park benches became beds.
In a piano bar Little Richard played for free
and a ten dollar drink.

In Sausalito she ate newspaper wrapped fish and chips
bought Capezios and hitchhiked back
across the fog bound arch with an elderly lady in a
maroon Desoto.

Now elderly herself, she sits on a ragged porch
in Vermont and sucks on her artificial teeth,
watches her tame cat stalk the spring robins in the
muddy field while the early morning
fog lifts in its own good time.

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