The Tule Fog

Just as the sun rises and disappears
Behind the tall city landmarks
They live and hide, out in the open
In this provincial city of San Francisco.
No, they do not own homes
But they claim the streets of this city
Just as the tule fog settles low to the ground.

Some days you only get to see
The tip of the Golden Gate Bridge
Underneath the blanket of rolling fog
Some days you only see the dirty toes
Popping out from the rugged sleeping bags
Of these homeless souls, fast asleep on a street.

An indifferent fog gatherers new momentum
Their faces not memorable yet picturesque
Stay with me like those artistic murals
Adorning the walls of the Mission District.
They wander in the alleyways
While the city cleans pavements.
Littering on the streets is not allowed
But the littering of life is.
Wide awake at night
They witness all petty crimes
And drunk in the morning
They ignore the office goers.

The streets of San Francisco
Smell of their urine but the tourists walk by
Mesmerized in a magnificent city.
Soon the homeless will be shifted
To an underground colony of the invisibles
And there will be nothing left on the streets
But the tule fog.

  • Manisha Joshi