Monday, 9 May 2022


by Lorri Ventura

His home is a rag-filled refrigerator box
Propped crookedly on broken sidewalk
Alongside the Boston Common

When I ask his name
He says, “Just call me
‘Least of Your Brothers,’”
Then winks conspiratorially

He tugs off mismatched gloves
To jab his raw fingers
Into his tepid cup of Dunkin’
Before gulping its dregs
Coffee trickles through his beard
As he offers a sip to a passerby
Who squawks in protest
Before bolting to the other side of Tremont Street

The gold-gilded State House dome
Shines down on him
As his gnarled fingers weave gently
Through the yarn hair
Of the grimy, one-eyed Raggedy Ann
Propped in his lap
Every so often
He leans forward and kisses the top of the doll’s head
With a sweetness that brings tears to my eyes

Seeing people turn their faces away
As they rush past him
Pretending they don’t see them
He waves
And grins lopsidedly
Pushing his tongue through three wobbly teeth and chortling,
“Smile! I won’t hurt you! Have a good day!”

I squint through the sunlight
As I watch him from the nearest corner
And I think I see
A halo encircling his head

* * * * *

Lorri Ventura is a retired special education administrator living in Massachusetts. She is new to poetry-writing. Her poems have been featured in several anthologies, in Red Eft Journal, and in Quabbin Quills.

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