Winner of 2017 Giller Prize

Winner of 2017 Giller Prize
Michael Redhill for his novel Bellevue Square

Sunday, July 13, 2008

A poem by Becky Klein McCreary

A Kind-hearted Woman Lives Here

I pressed my summer-tanned cheek
against the white porch pillar,
flaking paint rough on my face.
I shyly peeked
at the hobo man sitting in my Daddy’s chair.
He smiled and said, thank you
when Mamma gave him
meat loaf, mashed potatoes, brown bread,
that was all he said.
I looked at his shoes,
one black, one brown
both scuffed and laced with twine
My six-year-old feet, bare
could walk, even run
on the railroad bed
where the hobo man jumped the train
to find a kind-hearted woman.
He knew I watched him
sitting in Daddy’s chair.
Little girl, bring me a stick!
I gave him an apple twig.
His tired, blue eyes
squinted a smile.
In the dirt of our driveway
he outlined Indiana,
and inside,
he drew a smiling cat --
a message for the next hobo
who jumped the train
to find a kind-hearted woman.

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