My name is Prophet, but they call me, “hey, you!” I am a penniless drifter shod poorly, diseased and despised. I sing for a seat near the hall down the path to the shed used by swine. I’m gleeful with joy for any place to dine. Crafty by circumstance, I am blessed with a spark of divine mind. I trade hope for shelter. I barter truth for a comfortable lie. I feel privileged, indeed, honored to share my most cherished possession with whatever lurking beast or saint there may come a- knocking on the door of my rice-paper heart. The possession I speak of is my inner light; my love, the most powerful force in the universe. More often than not, I possess neither food nor shelter. But light has never let me down. My huckster mind can convince me otherwise, nevertheless, shyster thoughts be damned. Belief does not make an invidious fantasy real. Those evenings I am cold, angry, lonely, rejected, and filled with remorse for coming to this place in the first place, are the same evenings I forget to be grateful. On these occasions, nights crawl painfully slow to that trickster called dawn. What I lack in essentials I make up in wisdom. Vagabond wisdom is priceless, so I give it away for free. I must. Like my father before me, I stand hunched-back, just as his father before him. My deformed stoop is the result of an incalculable weight I carry upon my shoulders. My mother was born in Hell’s Kitchen. My father was orphaned at the age of two in the dank Mississippi poverty that knows no equal. Tragic obstacles for both of them, triumphantly overcome with passion, ideals, and love. Still, born deformed and senseless must be easier to bear than this weight, this soul numbing weight. I fear the worst should I stumble or fall. I fear for the innocents striding between land and the cobalt blue seas. When I fear it’s because I’ve abandoned gratitude. Sometimes my unbridled dejection paralyzes my connection to God. It is easiest then to dismiss divine light as a dreamer’s hallucinations run amok. And I do. Yes, I do. I dismiss like a diva.