I met this gentle character 3 years ago living on the streets of Santa Cruz. He is was not an addict or an alcoholic, just a displaced loner, confused by the world .Tony got used to me giving him a few euro each morning for breakfast and would cross the street to meet me .
I met him again last week on the same bridge across the barranco de santos , and pressed a few coins into his hand. Still a man of few words , I know no more about his past, his life on the street or what brought him to this point in the present . He has had his hair trimmed since I photographed him in 2015 but he still has the same penetrating eyes . I wrote this poem wondering about his past .
Antonito to the mother and sisters
who ruffled your hair
and fussed over your undone laces.
Antonio to the blood brother amigos
who dared you climb higher,
watching the world unfold
like a shimmering ochre blanket,
with it's roads and rivers and signposts,
bridges, cables, and tarmac
On a distant smudge of horizon .
played out on lanes fringed
with garlic and bluebells,
cartwheels and dung rough games
on quiet ways , that led ,
And from your crow's nest
you cursed the bleached fields
and gobbed at the wind
fearless of tomorrow .
But already shadows were gathering
Creeping , lengthening imperceptibly
from the margins of the fields
Like a dark tide ,
Stealing the day .
What current swept you here
to this cracked corner
of scarred concrete
and last night's hunger ?
With only the wind now,
to ruffle your hair ?