Oakland Morning

The sun painted

Its song across

The strip of earth known

As MacArthur Blvd


An Oakland



And I was walking

Along, past the

Churches that looked

Like stores, half empty,

Half full


An empty Chinese

Restaurant stands behind

A rusted gate


A family restaurant

Whose family must’ve

Worked the counter

Before the rust


It was an Oakland

Morning and I was

Heading to the bus stop


And as I walked I came

Upon a man lying on

A king sized box spring


His body was MacArthur,

Head to toe, covered by

Clothing that couldn’t hide

The story of his bones


He had just woken up,

(It appeared) eyes pried

Open by the probing finger

Of the sun


Bits of glass and rock

And cigarette butts

Strewn about


I looked at the man

Then looked



He looked at me

From the corner

Of his eye


Good morning,

He said


The way he said

It was not melodious,

It didn’t come with

The scent of long standing

Trees lining this strip

Of earth


Good morning, he

Said as he sat up

To face the day


Sometimes the only

Thing you can say

Is “Good Morning”


While the sun’s

Finger probes

Your eyes




© 2015 Tony Robles


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