The air is crisp and cool.
It’s quiet around midnight.
The tourists have gone home.
A homeless Vietnam veteran stands watch.
He’s sick and is having a hard time
getting any benefits.
He wanders off into the night,
heading for the mission and a cot
where he can rest his head until morning
to begin another day
of waiting for something good
to happen to him.
The old and ailing veteran
will line up for a cot
in a mission and wonder
whether he can live long enough
to collect from the bureaucrats
what a nation owes him.