As I stroll through the downtown a' Spokane, Washington with my backpack on my back, lookin' a little scruffy 'cause 2 day's growth a' beard, feelin' happy 'cause I'm retired and though not rich, at least I got roof over my head, food in belly and clothes on back, a damn fine mind that's still functioning, and a wonderful wife who I love, a bit younger and still working (until the Bush budget takes her job), I can imagine how it feels to be one the guys coming from the Mission on Trent with his backpack on and feeling kind of low and down and out and trembling 'cause he's a bit hungover and uncertain in the sunlight, thinkin' how he'll get together a few pennies to get on with or buy him a pint a' booze, but happy to see the sun and no more shivering in doorways until next winter comes with puffy cheek wind blows to freeze him to the bone, an' thinkin' maybe he won't have to spend too many more damn nights at the Mission, listenin' to all that Jesus crap they lay on you just so's you can get a cot and a hot....
Yeah, I can imagine it, I sure can. There was a time when I sat in an alley too, lo these many 25 plus years ago, back in another dream and in another world, and I think of a fragment of a poem by Bill Stafford:
“... to an imagined place
Where finally the way the world feels
really means how things are....”
from “In Dear Detail, by Ideal Light” by William Stafford