Homeless in Missouri

Hannibal without elephants;
Mark Twain sang here,
slept here,
ate here.
A valid point
Put forward by my noisy abdomen.
I’m famished.

Ancient samaritan shopkeeper
Tosses morsels of stale dogma
To me from his doorway.
Phrases I joyously consume
With a can of cold beans
And a pickle.

My ear accepts the bribe
To my stomach
While my soul
Smiles politely
And declines with thanks.

Arid words from my host,
However,
Quench my thirst
When seasoned
With love
And beans
And a lark calling from around the bend.

From Poems of the New Old West
Copyright, 2003 Jack Purcell

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