A MAST nod to People of Earth 2019 finalist Friends on the Street, a poem and photograph by Darby Biley. An excerpt of the poem is presented here.
Friends of the Street
I had a friend once who ended up on the street
He’d been married, with kids … he once was an athlete
A mechanic with teams as they raced Tour de France
He was funny and charming and good with his hands
At some point, some point, his mind started to shift
Shadows and voices, his mind playing tricks
Schizophrenia came, and his mind wasn’t his
He lost his wife. He lost his kids.
Sometimes I think I see him walking the streets
But it never is.
Penske Dale has been trying to keep his beer cold by putting it in Styrofoam.
He says it’s not working very well.
He’s from Philadelphia. That’s how his friends … people … came up with the name Penske
“You like my little Pluto guy here?”
“You want me to move my chair to any certain position?”
Four days ago, Penske Dale got robbed … they beat him up … they broke his chair … they took
his wallet and all his lighters.
He’s got Multiple Sclerosis.
He says he got out of the hospital yesterday at 4 O’clock.
“I got nothing. This $40 is gonna come in handy.”