Six Stanzas for a Harlem Troll


They found him huddled,

Underneath the bridge,

Turned by the ice into a stone,

No longer man, now just a thing.


Men took his body to the morgue,

Washed it clean then labelled it,

Before moving it to a new cold,

To be preserved a little while more.


Ice melted, stoney flesh became,

Dust in the furnace’s fiery maw,

And one or two remembered him,

A man reduced, a thing forgot.


He lived too long, they said,

In other people’s shadows.

Lived lives that seemed to turn,

On other’s whims and needs.


They threw the ashes to the wind,

Strew him across the garden bed,

The man who lived to help and please,

Now fed their roses while they forgot.


But simply, he just outlived himself,

Trying to find some sense of place,

Until he found himself now obsolete,

And turned to stone in winter light.

harlem troll


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