The old hobo

rolled in a fox trot

out of the boxcar,

whose letters were

sun faded even

in the moonlight. 

He was always cautious

after any ride

over steel tracks.

He remembered

rail yard bulls

billy clubs

broken hard

across his shoulders.

But he’d heard

church bells ring

that Christmas eve.

They played songs

his precious mother

had sung to him

forever ago.

He  finger combed hay 

from his hair

and snuck in 

the open church,

with the wisdom of thieves.

He knelt to pray

as the glitter of teardrops

cleaned crosses

on his creased

coal stained face.

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