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JOE
by Bill Grimes
06/25/06
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JOE


His name is Joe
Soft spoken
Frail
A kind and gentle man
Humble glow
Surrounds his haggard features
Years of hard living
Speak volumes
From the soot beneath his fingernails
His skin
Blackheads covered in grime
Loam caked camouflage
Bushy red beard
Speckled with gray
Growing for years without grooming
One of the most polite men I have ever met
He invited me into his home
Underneath the Rideout Road Bridge
We talked for hours
About his childhood memories of Crossroads
Just outside of Ruston Louisiana
His fathers moonshine still
Their only means of support
Tears welled in his lonesome eyes
As he spoke of his wife and children
Lost in the abyss of time
Intelligent solitude
Sprang from him like front page news
He described life on the road
Soup kitchens
Homeless shelters
Greedy social agencies
Tough Texas Rangers
Who take no lip from any man
The demon crack
His first hand account
“How it brings a grown man to his helpless knees”
His knowledge of the bible
Impressive
Far deeper than my own
“The meek shall inherit the earth”
Joe waits patiently for our Savior to arrive
I see him walking along I-565 daily
In search of discarded cigarette butts
“It gives me exercise” he tells me
A chuckle surfaces from his fragile body
Wispy
Pallid
In need of a good meal
God blessed me with a new friend today
Thank you Father
For the benison of His words
His genuine companionship
I will visit him often
My life
Will never be the same


© Bill Grimes Jr. 2005








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