If it's either the gutter or here,
he'll stay and not complain,
though he'll never get rid of the stain
of lipstick, or the smell of beer.
On the neon welcome sign
one 'e' gave a wink and died,
and he was dead cold inside
but sat there like he was fine -
for he wasn't one for fresh air
and drapes kept the daylight outside.
If the sun wouldn't give him a light,
the cigarette stub didn't care.
Ed Shacklee is a public defender who represents kids in the District of Columbia.