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Poem of the Week: A Beggar's Prayer by Nathanael William Stolte

(For Kyle T.)
By Nathanael William Stolte

Sometimes I take the long way
To see if you’re flying a sign
Where the highway ends

Begging for loose prayers
From the traffic lights
Impatient captives
In front of the projects
Across from the church
The mayor goes to

They installed rebar under
The Michigan Street Bridge
To banish the loathsome

I used to visit you there
When that was your home

You always have a smile on your
Wind and sun beaten face
There is always a
Little bit less in your eyes
A little bit less bone in your mouth
I imagine you still cook your breakfast in a
Somewhere under a different bridge

I remember when we were friends
When you were searching for answers
To questions
When washing down
Expired medications
With Steel Reserve

I’d give you everything I have
If I thought it would help
But you’ve refused the costs of redemption

Sometimes I take the long way
To see if there’s anything left

Contributor’s Note: NATHANAEL WILLIAM STOLTE is the author of the chapbooks “A Beggar’s Book of Poems” (LastFirstPress/PrintCollective, 2015) and “Bumblebee Petting Zoo” (2016). He is one of the founding members of Cringe-Worthy Poets Collective and CWPCollective Press. He and his CWP Collective colleagues host a monthly poetry circle at Rust Belt Books at 415 Grant St. at 7 p.m. on the first Thursday of each month.

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