Fires and Stones

A street preacher spitting fire and brimstone, warning of the Day of the Lord to the brother in the back, who’s casually slipping something to another’s hand. The sister in the front, crying out with the Spirit, tears smearing her heavy make-up, confessing until it’s time to turn another trick for food. Fire and brimstone to scare the children straight and stave off his next fix. Fire and brimstone to whip the followers into a frenzy and fill his “Glory, glory, hallelujah!” wallet.

a mitten
marring the freshly-fallen snow —
childhood lost

A few blocks away, we share half a gyro and a heart-led prayer on the stone wall outside the homeless shelter. A flick. A small flame from the lighter finally sparks his cigarette and un-numbs our hands. I’ll be back in the morning, but he’ll be gone to wherever he goes.

warm ashes —
night stars calling lost souls

Haibun Today, December 2018