The homeless vet

bums a cigarette

as he leaves the

public library,

wondering,

while he smokes it

and enjoys the small

comforting glow.

of the burning tobacco,

where he’ll go next,

to survive the blistering

cold of Chicago.

Death like a bullet

shot from a gun,

is coming for him,

and everyone,

jobless, roofless,

hopeless – thousands

just like him

in every city.

His comrades in arms,

now missing in action,

abandoned by their country.

Dead on the sidewalk,

dead in the alley,

dead on the asphalt –

the vet knows death. He’s

seen enough of it.      .

The night is a war zone.

You survive or you don’t.

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