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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