A Tale Of Three Men

A lost sheep
All his home in a heap
Wears the street on his feet
Bones with no meat
Cause he struggles to eat
The wind at his cheek
Searches retreat
From the shame and the sleet
Discovers relief
Beneath headlines of last week
And slips to sleep
Between a snitch and a sneak

Dreams repeat
Of a past he don’t speak
When he slid down the steep
To a life replete
With incomplete
Fell and feel’s obsolete
But his real’s not unique
Knows the road he will meet is bleak
And he’s too weak with defeat
To dig from his deep
So when sun and city meet
With summer’s heat
And shadows sweep
He climbs concrete
Stands on peak
Looks below to the street
And thinks of the leap
That would deplete his heart of a beat

Fear reaps thoughts that flow fast
They flood past en masse
Holds fast to a flask
Shelter from the blast
But it never lasts,
Social contrast walking past
Upper class man in black and brass
With a smile for a mask
Won’t tell, so don’t ask
He lives for stacks
Of greenbacks
He gets doing tax
For the big cats
Stash of cash
So every dawn a dash
To flats of glass
And as he crosses the impasse
He sees the outcast
In his dirt and ash
He kicks up trash
Calls it crass
Turns his head back
And walks right past
As another slips through the cracks
Fell in the gaps
Falling fast
Into ever vast

A sudden rush and a flash
And that’s when I wake
Shook with a shake
Like a fall in a lake
And in my sleepy state
I replay the tape
And the realization that I make
Is that the dreams I create
Are not fully fake
For in them I see
What my real could be
And how that man is me.

-circa 2010

I wrote this poem around ten years ago. It is called “A Tale Of Three Men” because in the poem we are introduced to three men: a homeless man, a business man, and myself. The homeless man has reached the end of his rope and so he walks to the top of a building or bridge to throw himself off and put an end to his difficult life. The business man is equally broken, albeit in a different way. As he makes his way to his office, he passes the homeless man about to commit suicide, but he is so engrossed in himself that he doesn’t notice. As it is revealed at the end of the poem, the first two men are only part of a dream. But often our dreams are rooted in reality and can reveal things about our deepest thoughts and feelings. This particular dream is revealing that I am often so busy in my own world, looking out for my own needs, that I don’t see others and their needs. In that way, I am like the man in the dream.

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