Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Kevin the Can Man By Jasen Sousa

Kevin the Can Man

I would see this man every morning at the same time,
he was always pushing his carriage full of cans.
Most would think he lived a meaningless life,
but I could tell, that in his mind, he still had gigantic plans.
One day I worked up enough courage
and introduced myself to him,
he stared back at me with an unshaven face,
a scar over his lip and dirt under his chin.

“Cans, cans,
are there any in that barrel over there?”

“I’m not sure,” I replied.
“If there are, I am not aware.”

“Ok thanks,” said the man.
“I will see you around.”

“Hold on,” I said.
“Every morning I see you
and I hear that sound,
the sound of the cans
in the carriage you push.”

He fired back, “I’m not going to give you
any of my cans, is this some sort of ambush?”

“No, no,” I replied.
“I just wanted to say you are someone I admire.”

“Me?” said the man shocked. “Most people think I am
just some bum who no longer has any ambition or desire.”
“Because I don’t wear the nicest clothes

and because they think this is the profession I chose.”

“This was not my dream,
but sometimes that is just how life goes.”

He said this while wiping the snots on his sleeve
that were dripping from his nose,
this revealed his T-shirt
covered with blood and holes.

“This was not the life I always dreamed of
I too, was a part of this society and I still have lofty goals.”

I stared into his eyes and saw a glimmer
that still glowed off his dirty face.
He showed me a photo of a huge house and said,

“This was once my place.
I used to live the life everyone dreamed of,
but that was before my tragic fall from grace.
I always planned carefully on how not to lose my fortune,
but I never prepared on how not to lose my mind.”

“Then one day it happened,
and it was like I was living in a new world, a new time.
In my minds eye I tried to think back on all that made me happy,
but I was totally blind.
Now I stay drunk all day
so I don’t have to remember
how I lost everything two years ago

on the 21st day of December.
I had a wife, but we weren’t able to have children,
she was my life.
She got liver cancer and died quickly,
and all of a sudden I was a husband without a wife,
a man without a plan.
a man that was suddenly all alone.”

“I stopped going to work
and I made these streets my home.
So, my new job is
collecting cans from nine to five,
that’s how I eat
and how I stay alive.
I am going to save up enough money from these cans
to rebuild my life, find a new wife and start over,
I will stop this drinking
and once again be able to live sober!
The shock of what happened to me
is all part of the past,
I just hope I am going to be able to continue
and not run out of gas.
This money I get from these cans, I can’t tell you where,
but I hide it all in a secret little stash.”

He clutched onto the bar of his carriage
and started racing,
I never looked at homeless people the same
after Kevin and I had a conversation.

Taken From
Selected Poems of Jasen Sousa
Comprised of works from:
Life, Weather (First Collection of Poems Written At Age 17) (Not In College)
A Thought and A Tear for Every Day of The Year: A Poetic Diary (Written Between ages 18-19) (Stint at Suffolk University)
Close Your Eyes and Dream With Me (Written During Early Twenties) (Bay State College)
Almost Forever (Written During Early Twenties) (Bay State College)
A Mosaic of My Mind (Written at Age 24) (Beginning Emerson College)

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