Saturday, May 21, 2005

Angel On The Radio

You never know who you are talking to
or who is asking you for a favor.
That is why you err on the side
of charity and human kindness.
Jesus or Budda would not be wearing name tags
if you met them on the street corner
and they asked you for a dollar.

The corner I am talking about is 4th and Court streets.
The last few winos in town go there
to collect a few bucks from the folks
who come to this little historic district.

Henry always asks and I almost always give.
Sometimes he just asks for a ride
to the driveup liquor store
and then to his crib in the ruins
of an old slaughter house.

One night he told me about Jackson.
Henry said he was laying down to get some sleep
and turned on his portable radio.
One of the little black and grey ones.
No music.
No static.
Just a voice identifying himself as Jackson,
Henry's guardian angel.

Jackson told Henry he did not like the way Henry
was using up his life
but that he would be there for him.
He would protect him.

Since Henry told me this he has sobered up
and then he went back to drinking
and looks like he is in worse shape than before.
But he now has a short little white guy
as his companion.
Henry is a tall thin Lakota Marine Corps veteran.

I keep meaning to ask the little guy's name.
I think I am afraid that he is Jackson.
The angel from the radio.
The little black and grey radio.


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