There’s a man who lives across the alley

pops his head out of his patio doors

at regular intervals throughout the day

every day of the week


he’s an older gent, maybe eighty years of age

I call him the cuckoo man

because he’s like clockwork

his reason

for his timely appearances at those doors

is to finish up the ends of his cigarettes

and put them out on the concrete slabs outside.



in the summer

I hear him coughing up a lung

or sighing to himself or both

now and then

the occasional cold cigarette butt

is taken by the breeze

and rolls under his gate

across the alley, under our fence

and into our backyard.


I pick them up and throw them into the litter

he must burn through forty a day.


I guess he’s lonely, miserable



What do I know?

cuckoo man is a stranger to me

the only communication we’ve ever had

is in those cigarette butts

blown under the fence

leaving via the rubbish truck

of a Thursday afternoon.

One thought on “Cuckoo

  1. I kind of felt sad for him but perhaps he has made peace with his solitude. Thank you for sharing such a beautiful post! According to your convenience please do read some of my writings would love to know what you think about them. 🙂


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