New Beach Walk Poem (Long and Rough)

About how I had seen the guy sitting
There in front of Denny’s for days
Bike beside him nailed to a tree
The heat oppressive already today
I walked slowly knowing he would ask me for help

I turned and looked deep into a pair of brilliant
Blue eyes and said, I bet you need a boost as
I unrolled a twenty off that little wad of special money I carry just for this
He puzzled looking at the money. Been a while since he’d seen a twenty
So I said, You know that’s a lot more than money. Your
Life will change now, it’s all made of love. That’s when
He told me his story, pointing to the bike he said
That’s my truck, I went bankrupt, used to lay flooring
For $18.50 an hour in Seattle, then it all fell apart so
I moved to where I had lived in Santa Cruz I tried for 5 years
Then hit L.A. looking for work Got two months worth then
They said try San Diego, but I broke my leg when I got here
and ended up in a shelter with a backpack that had
My last $15 and my ID which someone stole before I woke up at 6 A.M.
With my ID gone, I can’t get food stamps or a new ID
Cause I don’t have an address and the place that
Gives homeless people mailboxes has a waiting list of 200.

All I said this time was, you know I see you. I hear you and I see
you are a beautiful reflection of love, and you know you are
Loved now so everything gonna be all right now, It’s gonna be all right. He
Looked at me and at that minute he knew and so he stood up
On the leg that was in a brace, stood strong and asked for a hug.
God! This is always required of me, it keep me humble lest I feel like some f…ing saint
, knowing I am sometimes a complete germaphobe,
though I know better and don’t believe in anything but love. I went in for the hug,
You are loved, I said and I really did see him, as I patted his back over a shoulder
That hadn’t been washed in a while his body was touching me full on but when I said goodbye
And left to walk the beach where all the people who passed me smiled and said hello even though this
Is a totally unfriendly beach and people look at you like you’re crazy if you greet them.

Half hour later when I got back to my car he was gone, all trace of him. I notice
That most all of the homeless on the beach right now are new. One guy was
Sleeping next to his guitar he had wrapped in a superman bag. Some are
Really young others more seasoned have found their way here for me look at and love.
Sometimes throw in a twenty or a hug or both,
God, I thought, when I get to see like this it makes me so happy.

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