goose river

the old man they called
goose river could be
found most days
drunk on the wooden
bench in front of
the pool hall
his bib overalls
fouled with urine
and vomit
goose was about as
hefty as a fishing
cane a bony little man
lost inside big
Dee Cee bibs
said to be afflicted
with TB and cancer
but he guzzled
corn squeezing from
sun up until whenever
he passed out
usually on that same
bench by the pool hall
my dad was a drinker
himself though not a
street drunk and
high on humanitarianism
he brought old goose
home with him for
Sunday dinner once
i remember the nasty
little man sitting at
the table and how
dirty his hands were
and how foul he smelled
and how he could just
peck at food because
the nourishment he needed
came in a jug
goose came years before
Jimi Hendrix but
he died the same way
lying on his back
on that wooden bench
inhaling his on vomit
I recall it was some
time until I got used
to the idea of not seeing
him sprawled there
every day

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