The Shipwrecked Fool
The kitchen light at four A.M., dull distant warm world.
by Edmund V. Strolis
The wipers streaked and thumped in cold contrast.
He could see her wondering, peeking at the window, waiting.
He shuddered a shame known all too well to the drifter.
The league of distinguished drunks, found him clever.
The band of dark side hooligans reveled in his cynical sneer.
Wasn't he witty tonight? , timely, snarling jabs so irreverent,
How he crowed and thrilled them with tales of derision.
Part jester, part prince they hung on every bawdy tale.
The world outside the bar, lost in a fog for one more night.
The riotous barbaric laughter and shouts that turned to song.
Oh wasn't he godlike in protestation and damning declaration? .
Philosophers all were they, the whiskey and beer proclaimed.
Let night blend with eternity, God how happy they would be.
Failure was mocked, regret was banished beneath the jolly roger.
Pirates in search of a town to sack or a rum ship to plunder.
Feet stretched, fully clothed, with the couch as his life raft.
She had gathered the sleeping hulk and by sheer will rescued him.
With curtains carefully closed, to shield him from the light.
A merciful island oasis for the corpse of a shipwrecked fool.