Come In From The Rain!
Many remain mute. This one kneels
on a folded blanket sodden with rain
and sways toward the wall, his face
floating in the long bay of his hands.
He is one of the sad beggars of Barcelona
who kneel on sidewalks barefoot, hold out
cigar boxes, display some deformity or wound.
Some grip signs saying merely, "I am hungry."
Coins dropped on his laboriously printed plea
glisten, kings' faces drowning. He seems
oblivious of the winter wind in the alley,
the great stains devouring his shoes.
Such men turn up without explanation
or history on the streets of every city
of the world, delivered in our path
as if ejected by some shabby womb
to be rained on or frozen drunk
under a viaduct, without dry clothes
or honor. For Gods sake, man,
its time to come in from the rain!
But I do not say it. Beneath my
umbrella, I'm unsure whether I'm addressing
this Gypsy--master of a cruel discipline--
or my father, my brother, men of my country.