Quiet Nights on St. Tristan’s – The Hoodlum


 

The Hoodlum

 

iii

 

he was the type
you’d see in movies
black hair greased back
white tee-shirt
a pack of cigarettes
rolled up in his sleeve

“the hoodlum” you called him
he introduced you to the loading dock
behind the mall

diamond-shaped nubs on the steel ramp
kept workers’ boots from slipping
while loading/unloading
trucks

you’d sit and drink like hobos
back when it was cool
to be
a bum

you talked about
— rambling cross-country
visiting hobo jungles
spinning yarns
hopping boxcars
dodging the “bulls”

“don’t let
the bulls catch you” old movies
the Great Depression “they’ll break your skull
leave you for dead” quite romantic
you thought

you talked about
—hitting the road


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