Beautiful homeless men across from the Pawtucket Visitors Center, sitting on benches next to their black garbage bags– willing themselves invisible, waiting for the day to begin. Walking the dog, a hesitation…discomfort. I consider a turn around. Then I think about my grandfather. I never knew him, but he was what they used to call a traveling “pen man”. He rode freight trains from town to town searching for work as a calligrapher for newspapers. Not able to sustain family life, he’d left my grandmother and 6 kids in Vermont, and wasn’t seen again until he died of sterno poisoning in The Vermont State Hospital for the Insane. I guess he was a good man, just couldn’t go the straight route, a drunk, yes, but a gypsy and a talent and a heartbreak. One of those homeless men, at one time, could have been my grandfather and there and then they were all my grandfathers and despite myself I walked past and said some good mornings- not slowing down or speeding up, casual, as though they weren’t homeless, as though they didn’t look homeless, as though they belonged there as much as I did.