LESSER OUTAGE REQUIRED
The old guy said he couldn't see good anymore;
and he just kept wandering around. I'd see him
on 8th, then I'd see him on 12th two hours later.
Streets were good to an elder like him. Cart man,
he said, gave him something to eat now and then.
Coffee. Some black stew from something left.
Those days, there were still some horse guys
walking the downtown streets - the clomp,
clomp, of a chestnut cart, the good smell of
that old fire. I knew direction by the scent
I followed. Outside the armory, whatever
that is, 25th. 26th. That's where they said
he finally keeled over, muttering some
ancient names of something. I was sad,
but since I was only 18, little cared.
Things go like that, sometimes,
Less and less required.