Sunday, December 13, 2009

Mina V. Kirby


My daughter first noticed him
as we rode past
“Look, Mom!
There is a man
lying on the ground
beside the 7-11.
Do you think he’s dead?”

There were others there
on the sidewalk
waiting for the bus
opening a just-purchased
or stolen
candy bar
going about their business

Nobody seemed bothered
by the person in dark clothing
lying on the cold ground
He didn’t move
and we had to go on
being in traffic
as we were

But I wondered
Is he asleep?
Isn’t he bothered
by the chilliness of the day?
Is he homeless
or drunk
or ill
or just relaxing with his dreams?

And why does nobody
pay attention to him?
Perhaps they have seen him before
Or maybe they are afraid
Does he smell bad?
Do they think he will rise up
and hurt them?

I felt bad for him
and I suppose I will never know
his story
Had I been there
on that sidewalk
how would I have acted?
I have to admit
that I was glad
for an excuse to leave

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