I rode the bus

to Golden Gate

eight short flight hours to Japan

And toured the Bay area's seamy side

of welfare days

and cocaine nights

I noted every hill and curbside stop

and shuffled my seat

to make room for life

And a man stepped aboard

leaning heavy on his cane

God's imagein denim pants

and rumpled red plaid shirt

Eisenhower jacket

Cowboy boots

and purple blotches on his skin

A bulbous nose

a tight set mouth

shoulders eagle spanned

snow white hair

and pain in blood shot eyes

He carried groceries in a bag

brown bread and lots of cans

And his hands were large

and weather worn

spotted - gnarled

like some lost Van Gogh in a potato field

I looked at the man

and saw the boy

he used to be

I bet he had a dream once

and stood Sequoia tall

He broke my heart

this aged old man

sitting on a bus

eight short flight hours from Japan

Leaning heavy on his cane

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