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 Lost Illusions

By Frank Sisco
Copyright 2000 Frank Sisco

 A poem about an elderly homeless man and his pot of lost illusions.


The sign was cardboard, 11 inches by seven
with green crayoned words
"Lost illusions"
all upper case
with an exclamation mark
ending the upward drift of letters

Bright green string
held the placard around his neck
dirty and undefined from
the grime of his tattered shirt
hanging on shoulders at least seventy -five
years of age

On the sidewalk
In front of him
one pot collecting money
was filled with fives and tens
no coins with them

The other pot held scraps of paper
all folded to hide the words within
I supposed describing the donors' written
lost illlusions

When he turned his head
I put a twenty into one pot
and took three notes from the other

For an instant I felt like a thief
But I reasoned I might read
the note and try to make
each of three lost illusions
a found reallity

The three are still in my jacket pocket
Tomorrow I plan to open them.