Contributors * more photos to appear soon

Contributors * more photos to appear soon
Christy Namee Eriksen, kim thompson, Jon Schill

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Ain't It Grand

Halfway between population and scenery,

too flimsily constructed to fit in with the bricks,

not constructed enough to look like he belongs there--

He’s still got patience for their pretense--

those overgrown kids in overgrown, super-sized toys--

adult-sized babies trying to hide

that they were never cute behind bangs and mismatched clothing

like a diversion from the vapid steam that rises off them--

or maybe that’s because they didn’t shower today

for fear of washing off their inspiration.

Either way, they don’t have any spare change for him

because they’re in art school and all their extra cash

goes to PBR and Parliaments.

If a building disappeared during the coldest winter months,

maybe we’d all wonder, read about it in the paper

but no one seems to mind his absence--

no one seems to mind having that extra few dollars in quarters

smoldering in the ash tray;

that change adds ballast when you’re driving on ice.

Groundhogs can suck it--

I know it’s Spring when he’s out there again,

quietly scratching his history into the sidewalk

with thrift store shoes

bought by necessity, not choice.

Whether you give him money or not,

he’s the only real smile,

the only real person inhabiting Grand Avenue

and it’s his weathered cardboard sign,

not some grandiose bronze statue

that spells out so concisely

“there is still beauty here.”

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