Hardly a Saint (Written October 27)

Hardly a Saint


Barely able to see in the gloom,

Breathing the stench of tar, paint

Thinner, and urine, he felt


His way along the cold wall

To a table piled high with pelts

Of fox, beaver, and muskrat.


In the corner, on a raised platform,

Was the rack with his guns. A bat

Flew at him and swooped away


Into the dark. The ironing board

Lay flat, unused since his last stay,

More than a month ago, before


His present troubles began. A bookcase

At the back of the room, where he stored

His journals and his photographs, leaned


Precariously to one side. What use were

These memories to him now? The fiend

Was at his back, and he, hardly a saint.

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