sheltering under the bridge
i remember Jim
awakening in his nest of blankets
as i pedaled past
sharing a wave and a smile
tentatively at first, later with ease.
until one day he was gone,
blankets, smiles, and all.
My bike path to work used to take me under a bridge across the muddy river. Most mornings Jim was there, just waking up as I passed. On fine days it seemed like the most beautiful place to live in Boston, but of course that was just me romanticizing -- i know that the reality of living without a home is harsher than I can even imagine. Jim and I slowly developed a routine of greeting over the course of a year or two, and then he was just gone. I think of him often and am grateful for our fleeting connection. Today I found this small tree, clinging to the stonework of the bridge -- another example of the tenacity of life.