The early morning clouds of pink awoke me —
So softly and so gently shook my arm.
The dew that settled on my nose refreshed me.
It’s richness to awake without alarm.
I took a gentle step toward the tree there;
Of course I first popped the sleep from my joints.
And now I can conceive, in truth, my journey,
But never will be certain of its point.
I set out (was it April or in August?)
A sense of hope pulling me from my home.
The act, though thought out, was but impulse merely.
I knew not what it was to be alone.
But, do not think as yet that I regret it,
For I am one with all I see as life.
It’s just that I have seen such ugly people
That I’m not sure my heart is bathed in light.
I must explain, I’m sure, that previous statement.
Take note, I only want to join the world.
But from the life I’ve seen not just so lately,
I’d think that is a marriage I’m not for.
I really wish I knew if I were different
In heart, as surely I would hope to be;
I know that those who live in huts and buses
Are surely glad to feel different from me.
But still I have a heart that is in kindred
With all the ego-joys men try to feel.
I guess to hope that I can get out of this
Is more ideal than practical or real.
The sun was warmer, harsher too, at mid-day.
I had to wear my hat to shield my eyes.
And though my thumb pointed way down the highway
I didn’t get even a single ride.
Hitching is so much like that in the summer.
People aren’t so lonely with the leaves
To remind them of life and that it is theirs.
So few halt their business for such as me.
I had to stop finally at a doorfront
To ask if I could work a meal or two.
The husband at the door just home from his work
Told me exactly what that I should do.
I guess to him I must have looked quite haggard
My long hair, dirty and my faded smile.
But, people, those who look strange still are hungry
And not ashamed to toil long for a meal.
— Circa 1972