One if by land

(19-20 January 1992) after Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Ice crunches underfoot 8 o’clock on Sunday night The empty streets of Atlanta A black man appears Sends a signal Please mister I’m starving Stranded in Atlanta Lost his wallet and ID Down from South Carolina with a friend Friend got in trouble Spending a month in jail Desperate times require small efforts What small part this man plays appearing at 10 o’clock by the bus stop At 2 o’clock before the marble steps of One Atlantic Center At 3 o’clock passing 10th Street and Crescent (Margaret Mitchell’s abandoned house) No orderly progression from poor to prosperous Marble arches rise up next to empty lots Two lights on the cellular phone tower blink constantly at night