Roadsides

The wilderness overtakes me
when I am left alone
and all the answers
are gone
and the phone
is not anything
and the
lost badge of honor
has left a dirt ring
where I used to keep it
and I have
sent my life
packing

My shirt is black
and my pants are black
which hide the stains
from lying on roadsides
and I’ve folded my coat
so many times
it fits comfortably
in my bookbag
but you wouldn’t know
to look at it, and
I take a little glory
from that

and I take glory
from the nic-nacs
that I carry in my pack
and glory is in the dust
on my napkins
and in the fact
that my boots
clatter
and that the
sun has darkened only
my face and hands
and that
I’m collapsible
And whenever
I’m asked
I can be elastic
and say ‘glad to’
and, if I had a hat,
tip my hat.

I’m not
a runaway.

I am a man
who has buried
his past.

There is
no path for me.
I am at
my behest.

and I am running
both ways
equally fast