Oct 27, 2017, 07:00AM

Living by Mercy

All night till the morning sang.

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I’d sit on the windowsill drinking
listening to the screaming angels
ambulancing ceaselessly hauling
all the suffering back and forth
at every hour of the night or day
St Paul was busy even at 3 am
with people yelling at each other
in the townhouses across the road
lovers quarreled people begged
drunks ambled from corner bars
the business of forgiveness open
all night till the morning sang

the addicted woman who often
got all my change came slumping
by with her two boys following
a few neglectful steps behind
the smaller angel maybe three
the other four or five saw me
sitting on the windowsill flipping
my week’s last a half dollar
at 3am I tossed it down at the boy 
who caught it in front of my convertible
she’d seen me parking many times
some days I was sure she waited
for me to come home after work
she always said it was for food 
her two boys looking up at me
the act of love is quick without
questions or doubts sometimes
I’d give her a dollar bill or two

some evenings back I locked
the car and she couldn’t get in it
to take the change clearly visible
in a dashboard nook so she cut
a hole in my car top large enough
to fit a tiny hand in the slit small
enough to patch not cost too much
took the change a box of hard candies
in the glove then locked the door
back up I didn’t see her the angels
for a spell until that night at 3am
when she said “God bless you”
just before the sirens wailed
and the business of saving lives
drowned the voices of tired angels 


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