The local paper reports a transient shot and killed
at the homeless camp behind SaveCo
last Thursday. Everybody knew him, no one knew
his real name. They say he wanted to be free
to do what he wanted. Paid for groceries
with cash, and special-ordered kibble for his dog,
who had her own cot and mattress to keep her
off the cold ground. January,
Thursday in a month of bad weather.
Shared his milk and bread with fellow campers,
gave one of the kids a walnut carving
of an owl. Didn’t like how society had changed,
lived in the camp because he chose to.
Wanted to be close to the earth and give back
what it gave him. Took care of himself,
watched over everybody. The SaveCo
box-boys call him Walter
so his death won’t be anonymous.