He’s bent over the counter,

his back arched by time

He’s smiling, broad,

his face cracks into a million smiles

He’s humming a creaky love song

It has such lonely words

Fingers smear the glass

with a white, faltering grip

He has no fiery ambition,

no mastery will to live,

no kindness born of affluence,

no happiness to give

He’s leaning back on the wood,

it’s convolutions planned,

moving back, and forward

and back And forward

The coffee scalds his tongue,

like nitrogen that’s cold

giving heat, taking heat

it’s all the same to him

The grease in his omelette,

she says it’ll kill him someday,

he’s 76 and running,

but he lets her have her way

She wipes the butter off the bun,

in a single mastered swipe,

he trembles with the sugar,

he shakes with his knife

He’s a man of the ages,

but he has no tale to tell,

he spent his life and living,

try’na buy himself from hell

‘Aint got no magic wisdom,

not a countryman by pride,

his weeks worth of pennies,

paid for the blanket by his side

Got a sparkle in his eye,

when he drops her some 25cents,

a quarter of his daily fare,

for her smile and innocence

And yet this man is dreaming,

of a future, of a time,

his cookie jar is full with pennies,

his meals rid of crime

And tonight he’ll lie waiting,

for the brand new year to dawn,

he’s got the best seat in the house,

by the bridge, on someone else’s lawn

New Year’s Eve 2008, 2010