Wednesday, September 9, 2009


As we all converge to disembark from the Staten Island Ferry
I brush up against an older man in a dark blue sock hat
That hides most of his unruly red hair. He is part of
An informal circle of Staten Island-based construction
Workers who are returning from a long night’s labor and
All are talking at once, bragging, joking, hassling each
Other about their work, their favorite sports teams,
Their relationships, the bars they always go to.
Two of them, the red haired one and another
Somewhat chubbier, strikingly cheerful fellow
Lean in to each other, not in any way that is sexual,
But friendly, close, caring, the high spirited guy
Occasionally throwing his arm around his com-
panion as if there is real affection here, bordering
On love. Despite the hard times and all the inevitable
Frailties of growing old, the simple bonds that human
Beings form, the elemental hold that they have on
One another makes adversity feel less severe and
The fact of making a strong connection
all the more miraculous and reassuring, like a mother
bird who will not rest until she has returned to the
nest with food for her young or a watchful baboon
who moves to the rear of a wandering herd to keep
company with the one who is slowed by injury, infirmity
or grief.

1 comment:

  1. What do you see when you turn out the light?
    I can't tell you but I know it's mine.
    I get by.....