They Tried To Pull Him Out Of The Drain
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They Tried To Pull Him Out of the Drain

They tried to pull him out of the drain

The bum, the hobo, the filthy wretch—
The man with no spine
No job
No life
He hid every hour there
In piss and shit
What was he hiding from? 

There was a storm that night
Engrossed by his grunting and moaning,
They came to his aid
To rescue him,
Surely…
Louder than ever over the booms and torrents,
The man was tearing away blindly at the water
He smelled worse than hell
I remember his odor well

His eyes were full of conviction and dread, 
Just like the year before, and the year after
He plunged yet again into streams of grime
Toiling over whatever he could see
Fighting this monster, fiend,
Thin air,
It seemed
They spotted him shuffling further in
Into deeper depths…
How desperately he tried to steer from the light—
They grinned

He was their favorite mole to wack,
And yanking him up in his stubborn crouch
Greedily, hungrily, powerfully,
They strained his decrepid arms
And tugged sadistically at his rancid beard
They kicked his ribs and they spat,
In throaty curses and cackling,
They beat him mercilessly and severe
Forcing him to snivel

He croaked, and he choked,
And from his nostrils
Spewed sewage and rain 
And when he drew breath
He feebly rose again

“Please,
Stand back my friends! 
There is no peace here,
No, not until she’s vanquished
Leave while you still can
Before she clings to your backs
And crawls into the pit of your bellies
She will rot you from the inside and out
Corrode every good thought
Her voice will seal your ears
Her aroma will waste every ounce of life
Her glower will shatter your cities,
And crumble your streets! 
And her soulless breath will tear you off your feet!”

Thunder menacingly boomed
At this moment,
What was more frightening,
His humanity, his nobility, 
His disregard for his persecution,
Or the monster veering behind his little frame?

“You see her now,
Don’t you?”

This question angered them,
And the shadow retreated
Where, they knew not
But they didn’t care anymore
They were pissed, 
Fuming,

“My shoes are ***** because of you”
“You’re gonna to die out here, old man.”
“You’re lucky you’ve lived this long.”
“Who the hell do you think you are?”

The man had turned his back
He was looking for the retreating mass
Wheezing in panic,
Glancing from side to side,
Searching up and down
All around

He slipped into the depths again,
As if a rug was pulled from underneath him
He cried out till the waters slammed him to silence
And blubbered out louder as a hand gripped his hair
Tugging him upwards to the surface
They were done…
Tired
Delirious
He cried, he sobbed as the two of them 
Lifted him off his kicking feet

They laughed and laughed and laughed
Until their echoes reviled them
The sound of their twisted mirth
Rung like something most unearthly 

What was he protecting them from?

I remember his odor well
His stench is what kept them alive for so long
His sweat their salvation
His bones their deliverance
He smelled so alive
He smelled so fresh
And all they could smell was piss and shit

They tried to pull him out of the drain
And they succeeded…
And now,
Greedily, hungrily, powerfully…
I’m free

© Laura Breidenthal . All Rights Reserved.


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