Just Passing By

by Maher   Sep 7, 2020


And so I put down my smoke to listen to what secrets they boast out loud:

It's OK love, there's more than the sidewalk that can hear you, but a secret's a secret after all.
You clearly want nobody to know, with a voice so loud.
I didn't know you cheated on him either until now, especially not with his brother.
I love how your friends agree with you and support you, it's great.
I'm sure you're in the right, all your exes are pigs for not wanting to be cheated on.

And you, Sir, I hear you through my earphones.
What was that you mentioned about your wife's chest?
Oh, never mind, you're already repeating it for dramatic emphasis.
It's nice how you describe your intimacy to your friends, I'm sure she'll love it.
I'm glad I know what she looks like now, I'll say "hi" if I see her.

Good God, child, where did you learn those words?
I'd never thought to string those together at five, it's genius!
What a creative way to describe someone you hate.
Their love for donkeys sure is a touch too far though,
you'd best stay away from people like that.

Hey, there's someone else over there that's listening too.
People just walking by him, chatting away as he holds up his tattered sign.
He'll shine your shoes for a dollar, it says.
I wonder why nobody does it? It's clearly a bargain.
He looks like he's heard a lot.

Here's $10 my friend, no need for a shine,
but mind if we have a chat?
I know you've heard a lot out here
and nobody pays you any mind,
so please, tell me your story
and I'll listen, in turn, in kind.

"Well mate, where do I begin?"
Wherever you like, I have time.

"Well, I've been here since 13 odd years after the last world war.
I helped build that bridge right there by the Opera House at age 34.
I was a structural engineer, see, and in the army too;
flew off with me mates, rations and a gun,
but things from way back then have all disappeared.
Gone,
one-by-one.

I had a wife and kids, but the courts took 'em away.
She took the house; I haven't seen them to this day.
Here's a photo of them little, see how cute they were?
I'm sure they're beauties now, but I'm a thing they won't remember.
Still I keep this on me, as much as it hurts.
Never know, one day things might work.
I shine shoes until I see their faces in 'em
and 13 years on, I'm still saving to see 'em.

But it's not easy mate, I'm getting old,
yet people still beat me up in the cold.
Just the other week they took all me savings;
a couple of dappers in suits, drunk and raving.
So I'm starting again, for what it's worth.
I just wanna hold who I held at birth.
So thank you mate, this sure did help.
Thank you for lending an ear in this hell."

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