Alonzo

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Scraggly hair, dingy clothes

was the first thing I noticed about him

he leaned over me and said

do you mind if I walk with you

it came out of the blue

but in all fairness and truth

I politely said

that’s just fine

it would take no time

and walking with HIM was no crime

maybe because it was daylight

I felt so bold

to walk with a man such as he

and then freeze

as he entertained me

with subtle conversation

I looked into his eyes

and to my surprise

I knew his face

But I couldn’t place

where or who he was

through the kink in his hair

the glaze in his stare

this connection was rare

We walked slowly down the street

Didn’t care what people would think

The question came

what is your name

Alonzo, he said with a hush

It all came back in a rush

this was a little boy, when I was younger, I had a crush

My heart sank

further than normal empathy

I was hit with the reality

the man next to me was crazy

As he stopped to pace

two steps to the left

two steps to the right

two more steps to the left

look up, look down

then back at me

this repeated itself times 3

but his vulnerability I could see

speaking intelligently

about positives and negatives

that life brings

he looked in my eyes

and said nicely

if I asked, would you help me

I almost couldn’t breathe

Here was the little boy

who played little jokes when I was a kid

didn’t matter at all

the cutest light brown and tall

curly black hair, but now would I hear his call

before I could answer

he began to recite

numbers

two steps to the left

two steps to the right

two more steps to the left

look up, look down

then back to me

what should I do

as I watched him with sadness

and I said

I’ll do whatever I can

In me, you have a friend

he nodded and gazed

then turned and went on his way

left me standing there

but I didn’t care

For the chance was rare

After that, I saw him occasionally

I would look at him frightfully

hoping I would be ready

if he asked for help

but he never really did

And when I decided

to help him without request

the need beat hard in my chest

just because he was homeless

I couldn’t treat him any less

than any human being

but I never saw him again

what happened and when

found out he used to be a serviceman

got beat up pretty bad

it was all really sad

made me more mad

I could not find him

I don’t know where he went

Because of this I take his lesson with me

You’d be surprised what you can learn from someone deemed crazy

when I’m down and need a release

I

look to the left

look to the right

look back to the left

look up, look down

then back to me

 

To read more poetry, check out The Good, The Bad & The Ugly: The Struggles of Being Bipolar

 

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