Last time we see Bogey
A 3-tooth smile on a rattletrap bike,
refugee from a warm place fled to a cold one,
he sweeps sawdust, unloads bags of cement.
Pointing at the face printed on his T shirt
he says Hoom-fray Bah-gurt so we call him Bogey.
Nearly deaf except at the boom of a lumber drop
he ducks for cover, searches the sky.
Tremors, the hand.
Bogey brings a single mango for lunch,
so we “share.” He loves bologna.
We give him a raggedy old jacket, boots.
Autumn comes fast with a sleet storm.
Kerosene heaters indoors (not safe)
hanging drywall when we hear a rattle outside.
Bogey in a shell of ice cracked at knees and ankles
frozen to his bicycle so we wheel him inside,
pour a thermos of coffee on gloves and boots,
then stand him in front of the heater.
Jumping up and down thawing dripping laughing
shouting Cray-zee! You cray-zee!
He won’t let us drive him home. Snot nose,
body trembling he cleans up scraps of drywall
coughing at the gypsum dust.
Sleet ends, sunset is gorgeous,
all purple and pink. Bogey is shell-free,
wobbling, riding away with his small pay.
Not crazy. Gone.
Joe Cottonwood has repaired hundreds of houses to support his writing habit in the Santa Cruz Mountains of California. His latest book of poetry is Random Saints.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.