I noticed you on the corner because you look
just like me, but then I saw your cardboard sign with its
searing words, “Mother of 2, homeless, can’t feed kids,”
and all I could think was your sign was the same color
as my minivan. And tonight my kids would eat a nice
dinner and sleep in their own comfortable rooms and
play games on the computer and text their friends. I tried
to look away, but I couldn’t because I saw your eyes, and
they spoke of being broken, and shame covered me
like a spider web. The stoplight had changed to green,
and I had to move on. You watched me drive
away, and your head dropped. My purse sat next to me,
but with no cash, I kept driving, until there were more
drops on my cheeks than on the windshield, and I turned
into the bank, to the ATM, and anxiously pulled $20 out
as the rain fell harder. Driving back, I feared you would be
gone, and my shame would stay, but you were still there,
sign now on top of your head, on that somber corner, shivering,
waiting. And I stopped. I handed you $20, and you whispered,
“Thank you.” I got in my car, turned up the heat to high,
tried to feel better about that corner, about the spider webs
of shame. As the wipers swished the rain away, I tried
to picture two kids eating dinner with their mother, but
all I could see was the needle marks running up your arm
as I handed you the damp $20. You will be there
at the somber corner tomorrow, too.
I like this very much and shared it on my facebook page.
Thank you for your kind words and for sharing my poem. I appreciate it.
Especially enjoyed the twist at the end, which caught me by complete surprise. Sad but lovely write…appreciate you sharing 🙂
That was very good.
Wow…I’m a little stunned after reading your powerful words. I kinda wanted it to end well, yet like so many things in life, reality is messy and unresolved. Thank you for sharing.