my father and the bum

my father believed in work.
he was proud to have a
job.
sometimes he didn’t have a
job and he was very
ashamed.
he was so ashamed that he
left his house in the morning
and came back at late evening
so the neighbors wouldn’t
know.

I liked the man next door:
he just sat in a chair in
his back yard and threw darts
at some circles he had painted
on the side of his garage.
in Los Angeles in 1931
he had a wisdom that
Goethe, Hegel, Kierkegaard,
Nietzsche, Rilke, Freud,
Jaspers, Heidegger and
Toynbee would find hard
to deny.