The Paper Cup

The paper cup,
drained, discarded,
buffeted about
by indifferent winds.
Its purpose in life,
the relief it gave,
now forgotten–
a snapshot in time.
The final fall
with laughter in parting.
Its concrete bed,
an uncaring grave.
Longing to be,
quench thirst once again.
But who wants to drink
from a dirty used cup?

Aimless direction,
a jungle of death.
The crisscrossing path
spinning out of control.
Glimpses of pain
we try to avoid,
while high in the air–
a moment of peace.
Then landing again
on the hot, sticky street,
as the nausea comes
to torture anew.
The wheel man sleeps,
unaware of the course.
Not malicious nor evil,
but cruel to the core.

Relief is so close–
yet not to be touched.
The bell has rung,
Five seconds have passed.
A savior above,
an angel of death.
Have now joined together
as one in the same.
Darkness falls,
welcoming rest.
A glimmer of hope
breaks through the fog.
Yet it’s an empty bed
shared with a corpse
as hundreds of cups
litter the streets.

The familiar laugh
is heard in passing.
The happy sound
of someone drinking.
But it’s another cup
providing refreshment;
a life not wasted,
but no longer claimed.
As the day shakes off
its restless slumber,
the winds pick up–
life enters stage right.
The dance continues;
the question remains:
Who wants to drink
from a dirty, used cup?

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