Lying on the broken tarmac, a stranger

sleeping on a box behind a shop in the corner
A crushed, red water bottle by his side, a loner
Could be buried alive and no one would be wiser

Living from day to day with hands sculpted into cups
Grateful for every second he’s alive to feel a rain drop
Pelted with slivers of coppers and nickel
He waits by the food aisle while from his mouth a stream trickles

He indulges in his meal not sparing a breath
Terrified to the bone from thoughts of death
As he wipes his lips with his sleeve, ‘Thank God’ in heart he cries
As he stared at the sky while the evening sun dies

He knowingly shuffles into his bag of bitter sweet
As flakes of snow drizzle from the man’s feet (athlete foot)
Laying his head onto a folded sock
And hugging against his belly a broken rock

He stares at the cloak of black above his head
Looking towards the night with utter dread
Even though he jumps at each sound in an instant of fright
He knows and prays to live long enough to see the next day’s light

~Azzam Anwar