Chicago is nicknamed, The Windy City, because of all the hot air around its politics. Cleveland, like Chicago is on the edge of a great lake and as such the physical wind blows hard down the open streets between the large buildings creating a kind of wind tunnel. In the years when I worked downtown and took the bus from Parma to East 9th and Superior Avenue I had to walk into that wind every cold winter day. With my heavy black coat wrapped up to my chin, cap snug over my ears and muffler and mittens all doing their best to keep the cold from penetrating the layers of clothing, it was still a job leaning into the wind and closing my eyes when my footing was sure.
He looked me in the eye
He looked me in the eye,
the wizened old man, as he leaned into the wind
crossing Euclid Avenue toward me.
My collar up and knit cap pulled down, mittens
snug as I passed him in the street
each of us bracing against the cold Ohio winter.
I wondered about the soul of that homeless old man,
probably like the winged Pegasus, soaring and grand.
This poem was printed in the online zine: June 2012.