Once or twice a week, a man in an old
cowboy hat meets me in the parking lot
behind my apartment, arriving, I imagine,
from somewhere God has been. He says
good morning through the tired brim, smiles,
and settles in again, poking through the garbage.
His brown face is sun-creased, stretched thin
from age and too, I think, the long walk
from dusk to dawn. I never ask him what
he is looking for: an armful of soda cans
to trade in for breakfast, an abandoned toy
for his grandson, a forgotten poem to read
aloud before bed to his late wife.
Forgiveness, perhaps. Redemption. Love?