Earlier this Summer Luana J. Ritch joined some others from this blog in San Francisco for a trip to Shotwell Paper Mill for a symposium on Combat Paper. She wrote this poem while in ‘The City’.
Clean White Socks
Luana J. Ritch, June 2014.
Clean, white, socks,
Against a dirty gray sidewalk.
He is sleeping.
Lying on his side, curled up,
In a half-fetal ball.
Holding his Nike’s tightly to his chest,
As a child hugging a favorite teddy bear.
Tall and athletic, his face smoothed
By his youth; clean-cut All-American boy,
In sleep, a face of sweet innocence.
Jeans, white t-shirt, and high school letterman’s jacket
A small gym bag, his pillow on this concrete bed.
I wonder about his dreams.
Are they of high school glory?
Touch-downs, home runs, and such?
Or, perhaps images of war and loss,
With sounds of battle are his nightmares.
I wonder, “Why is he here?”
What did he come to find
In this “City by the Bay?
On a cool spring morning,
In this landscape of the homeless,
His socks are a bright spot against the gray.
I walk by those clean white socks
To catch my train.