Red Brick Altar


The brick wall stands as a silent sentry.
Its faded surface bares the testament to seasons
as it rises above the man sleeping at its base.

The man’s uncombed hair rests lazily on his
folded jacket; his shield for dreams
weaved into the miles of walking.
His neck, tanned like summer afternoon roads,
roughens the wool collar; storms have left their stain and
lost buttons mark the trail of years gone.

He rests on his side beneath the red faded altar.
Crossed arms buffet the wind from his searching heart.
Behind in the railyard diesel engines warm
with fire as they move their steel bones toward
dark prairies and towns closed for the night.

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