“I wish I had a house too,” she said, as I walked past her on the narrow city sidewalk.
Her young son, looking into her face as she spoke, pricked something in me.
Are they homeless, or renters?
They don’t look homeless, and
why should I care, it’s
not my problem.
Same sun shining down on all of us
Social umbrella wide open for rainy days, and it’s
not raining now.
So I kept walking.
I took the elevator up to my second floor desk,
overlooking upscale condos with private terraces,
trendy loft apartments, and ground floor commercial.
just outside my
the street below me (below my superior sight lines)
existed only in traffic sounds now, and the hum of
the lawn maintenance crew lulled me with the familiar.
She walked away.
Not just me.
Seed of Samaritan squelched, I returned to my work – pursuing purpose.
She’s still walking.
Son at her side,
sun on her shoulders,
- Poetry in the Shelters (improbableoptimisms.blogspot.com)
- Tom Waits Combines Homelessness and Poetry in First Book ‘Hard Ground” (spinner.com)
- Tom Waits Releases Poetry Book for Charity (pitchfork.com)