The Bum

The bum waits under the redwood tree by the railroad bridge alone his back to the shade and ravine of the creek and the creek is nearly dry in its deep bed its steep banks are thick with poison oak and no train is coming for him no passing driver cares to see him on the way to the shopping mall he is not news he has no business he is in the dark corner of a civilization into which the centuries have fallen the centuries since the Spanish explorer the centuries since the Indian the centuries before people can remember the next time you pass this way he will not be there but even he has forgotten he has gone anywhere again and done anything he has pleased