Parliament Hotel, December ’82

Sherbourne Street beneath streetlights

Upward gaze through snowy veil

as Christmas eve fell white

Wonder for a day, then rain

and the grey beneath washed clean

A foreign body amid faces unknown

Present yet unaccounted

Dispossessed and liberated

Arrived with other vagabonds

and continental rejects expelled

Reflux of a cold war, forgotten like me

Shabby hallways, dimly lit

where hardwood floors groan under burden

of near a century’s bootprints

My own strange soil deposited

left in cracks that go unseen

We shared roll your own Drum in silence

two liters of vodka for a Christmas feast

Discovering our common ground

Western man’s universal disdain