Thanksgiving day; so different this past year.
Usually filled with warmth, family and food;
this year brought about something completely unexpected.
We three stowaways of a freezing, freight train
barreled through untouched lands of Minnesota and Wisconsin.
Packing ourselves tight to the front, near the walk,
petitioning with our bodies for a bit of heat to stay.
He, lay sleeping, almost immediately;
she, lay gazing at unknown places with wonderment in her eyes;
I, lay feeling the cadence of our steel conveyance, cold and content.
The sun brought silence, stillness and excitement;
unsure as to where we stopped, when we’d leave again.
Then the remembrance that it was Thanksgiving day.
No turkey found there (good thing, as two of us vegetarians),
just twenty or so pigeons.
I rolled the ritual morning cigarettes
from a fresh, tobacco leaf bag
while he prepared our feast;
a bottle of twenty-dollar wine and Wasa crackers.
We escaped the train compartment after twelve hours or so
running like hell with a white, security truck in tow.
A six-mile hike into downtown Minneapolis,
to greet a dozen rain-sleepers and a native american.
Again, he found sleep after we made our bed from bags and tarps
while she and I wandered out to find the Hard Times cafe.
She journaled, trying to document our journey and findings for those
back in Madison interested, while I listened to the coffee-filled manic
with a good nature.
Still, I can’t recall anything he said.
Only his joy in having an ear to unload upon.
He was a gentle man.
I found a wonderful white blanket in a trunk near the exit.
We stepped outside and I was gifted a button simply stating, “HAPPY”
from a man named Sunshine who professed his doctrine of unconditional
We spotted a small park across the way where we could enjoy a cigarette
in the grass under the star-canopy.
There, I lost my second, and last, contact lens.
Finally departing for camp, we realized we did not know our way.
After a two-hour walk, we finally found the square.
We slipped under the canopy of tarps, slowly, so as not to wake him
and/or let in the rain,
and ended our beautiful adventure of that fine Thanksgiving Day.
Week 72 Thursday Poets’ Rally;