I watch him lumber with ataxic gait

Right foot dragging, shackling the left

Hunkering down over artificial limbs

He shuffles his rigid vestigial legs

In microscopic increments

Searching the white light exit


He calls out to the conductor

In a raw dysphagic voice

No longer able to form words

Only a series of gagging whimpers

Horrible, this shrill barking

It is the sound of suffering

The sound now of my own heart

Aching, a wailing pulse


The ophidian body grinds to a halt

And the snake’s lips peel back

Revealing rows of rough

Venomous teeth, dripping green

Centimeters at a time the old man

Eases forward on his six spindly legs

A bleak audience immobile


Finally, a middle-aged Sikh

Reaches his hand out gently

And in a semi-awkward dervish

He frees the old man from

The gaping serpentine mouth

Returning to his seat, a saint


(I wrote this one on my really off day and I am just very uncertain about it.)


14 thoughts on “Everyday Saint

  1. No uncertainty necessary. Quite a journey. Vignettes. Hauntingly beautiful. I see the old veteran, war injured, trying to cross the body as less of a physical man. I see the saint. They live in my town. They live in yours. I watch for them.

  2. Love it…. Love how we all get three words and how we all show a different color! Great post… You don’t seem like you had an off day to me;)

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