Hobo Bound

Nancy Demme

The mortgage came due again
again, and again,
and he prepared.
Stole a cart from the Winn Dixie lot,
strolled it home.

Took the grey blanket
from his empty marriage bed,
packed cereal, rice,
noodles, canned beans and soup
from the pantry in clear plastic bags.

Clothes he took from his closet,
boots, socks, shirts, underwear,
a pen from the kitchen drawer,
a notebook, a can opener,
the fisherman’s knife
he’d been given for his 52nd birthday,
a painter’s tarp.

From the back closet
he salvaged his slicker,
the one he’d worn fishing,
and a heavy green jacket
Though the temperature was already rising,
he put these on,
wondered at his calm.

After a last look at his home from the stoop,
he threw his keys on the straw doormat
for the creditors.

He clutched at the fiver in his breast pocket,
His hand over his heart.
If he needed anything more,
he’d figure it out.
He was clear-headed
knew his uncertain fate
and pushed his cart past Ted Plumstead’s home
filling his pockets
with fallen apples,
sour, gnarled, crabbed.

About the author
Nancy Demme is a retired children’s librarian with a penchant and passion for writing. Her novel, The Ride, was published in 2019. She has also published flash fiction, a short story and poetry in The Kelsey Review, Confrontation, Foliate Oak Literary Magazine, Willard & Maple, and US 1. She teaches ESL: Writing in English, facilitates the East Windsor Senior Center Writers and the Twin Rivers Writers.

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