Poetry Monday: When Hobos Come from the Shadows

I used my coat to hide
My head from the cold
I heard the sound of the interstate
As if a window was open
I opened my artificial cocoon 
And a shadowed face
Stared back at mine
He mumbled words
And I shook my father
In the driver’s seat
As he stirred, the shadow man
Took a pack of cigarettes
He mumbled more and tried
To take a bottle of pills
My father grabbed the bottle
And yelled, “No you can’t get high
It’s just aspirin”
The shadow man still reaching
Over me backed away
I shut and locked the door
My father and I
We collected ourselves
The man came back
My father stepped out
With a large, heavy flashlight
The shadow man asked for a light
One of the cigarettes he just stole
My father obliged, and the man left
I was 15 it was February
By interstate 40 in Albuquerque
There was a police station down the road
My father thought this bum came from detox
We got back on the interstate to Flagstaff
We never forgot to lock the doors 
When sleeping on the roadside

From the poetry collection Men Are Garbage.

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