Kenmore Square

I knew a poet who would make
a couple hundred copies of a poem
and stick them in a pouch,
like a mailman
who wrote all the letters himself.

Saturday mornings
he would walk Commonwealth Avenue
from the Public Gardens
all the way to Kenmore Square.
He’d smile at everyone he met,
and offer each a poem.
Most people accepted them.

At Kenmore he would turn
and start back Commonwealth,
conscientious to retrace
the same side of that
gracious boulevard,
and he would reclaim his poems
from the sidewalks and the gutters
where they’d been discarded,
and he would stuff the pieces
back in the pouch.

We watch others go through life
leaving bodies strewn behind
and wonder vaguely
what our own trail looks like.
Bless those brave enough
actually to walk
that backward track.
They walk it for us all.