.Man With a Blanket On

A poem

By Jack Crimmins

there’s a man with a blanket on 

standing at Round Barn Park

in Santa Rosa’s historic West End

head to toe covered and his 

shopping cart is laden down  

with tarps and assorted bags 

overflowing really he’s

got a ton of stuff there’s 

a freeze warning here 

in California though 

people in the East 

would laugh wishing 

the temperature would

get as high as freezing 

everything’s relative and 

somehow at this time 

of year we’re all related 

there’s a man with a blanket on 

and C.’s working 

at the crisis unit 

a woman who is psychotic

hearing voices and gravely disoriented 

is saying she needs help so C. says to her

someone will be right with you 

it’s really busy everyone’s working 

very hard and the woman says 

hey, I talk to all the dead 

who has the harder job 

and C. says well 

I guess you do 

I’ll help you directly now 

there’s a man with a blanket on

at Round Barn Park

we’re all trying to keep warm

trying to keep the cold away 

to do our work and notice 

we’re all connected 

right here north of San Francisco 

and at the chilly beginning of a new year 

there’s a man with a blanket on

Jack Crimmins lives in Santa Rosa and is the author of three books of poetry.
Jane Vickhttp://janevick.com
Jane Vick is a journalist, artist and writer who has spent time in Europe, New York and New Mexico. She is currently based in Sonoma County. View her work at janevick.com.
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