Daily Archives: May 6, 2021

A Broken Shell

I knew a broken shell
with a name and a shape,
a solid being somehow
more or less invisible
to people on the street
where they lived.

Some said they had
terrible history,
some said they cracked
in the recent past,
some said nothing. Most

said nothing, just crossed
themselves or looked
away from the thing
rummaging through
the recycle bins once a week.
It was the eyes or the clothes
or the nonsense they spouted
that kept people looking away

and one day they did not
come around anymore, some said
they were the dead found behind
the convenience store but there was
disagreement about that but not about

how much my dog missed them,
how they loved to pat my dog
whenever they passed my own
precariously inhabited building,
long out of code, the unregistered cars
in the driveway, the weary yard
full of feeders and birds; whoever
that cracked shell was, I didn’t know,
but I trusted my dog
for missing them when they were gone.