Cold rain falls in the river, flows down to the sea, gets into the skyline, circles endlessly. Same old rain on the wind, same old pain in my soul.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

coat from a shitbox train

Treasure is a funny thing, you find it often where you least expect it. Much of the time, others don't notice the value you see in a glance. That's what makes it treasure. If ya find some, hold it with all ya got.

There’s a coat I wear
old and raggedy
a bums toss from a shit box train

I was down at the river, fishing
where rusty trestle
imitates coral flora


Chug chug right on time
I lifted my eyes to the rattle
and prattle of passing nothingness

and then, just like that-
out it came,
a drunken parachute
floating free
as the day tried hard to avoid it’s filth

I felt a nibble,
but never mind
the fish will come and go
stay with the coat

down it flittered and fluttered
as the smoke turned the bend,
running as fast as it could in escape.

and I wondered to the sky
and my own wanna know,
now how much filth
is too much filth for a bum and a sky
and a shit box train

I released a fine catch
and watched the coat
floating and bobbing
in the flotsam of brown
and considered my prowess with the throw

playing the wind
and using it’s curve
a snag and a snare
and it was mine
this bumless coat

it was obvious,
this coat had bloodlines.
once the finest ever made
and on many a wish list.
but care had been frugal
and the treasure lost
in careless abundance

now it was big and boxie
and the threads spoke history
faded green with torn pockets
that no doubt had once held great secrets

funny thing, this coat
this old green tattered coat,
it felt like it had always been mine.
it fit perfectly and my hands fell
where they should,
where secrets had been

we wore each other out
this coat and I
a partnership of rescue
and need, and trust
it would keep me warm
and I would just keep it

one cold day when my hands felt the chill,
they pressed in and fell through to the lining.
there I found the secrets.
bits of weathered paper and a thin photo

they told a story of when and where
and even a who and where who’d been
if I cared to listen

and I did

this old green coat now wears me to the river
and tells me of it’s secrets
as I haunt the shadowed depths
and listen to the prattle of passing nothingness

it holds my hands and keeps them warm
then hugs my neck as if grateful,
not knowing, I’m the lucky one

I wasn’t there
in the beginning
when it traveled in style
and fashioned dining cars

a time when thieves would spy it for ransom
and double takes spoke of glamour and grace
and the knowledge of true riches

I came later
when it jumped from the shitbox train
and flew on waves of freedom
and washed itself in the river

so glad it did
and that I was there
with the wind at my back
and an eye for treasure