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the sad sight of you

jarred me from my routine

long black legs easing up into auburn haunches

wispy ginger tail swaying lazily

a painter’s sable brush

dipped in titanium white


trotting along the curved roadside

between the projects

railroad tracks and the Lehigh river


too much of man on either side

and in between

and underneath

squeezing the wild in

and out


you moved like an insecure teenager

wanting to be free, invisible

while acting casually outrageous

exposing your rowdy intentions to every passing car

an old rebel, flashing

or crazy with rabies


you slowed as I slowed

crossed the road to reach me

a hitchhiker hoping for a ride outta here

freakishly human

your glance asked me to do something


to help


pausing amid the hillside garbage

plastic bags, soggy mattresses, broken television sets

torn clothing, and chewed up shoes


no longer defiant but proud


an elegant gentleman

surrounded by pointless waste

heartbreaking, tender

unnaturally vulnerable


staring at me



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