To the Homeless Man on the Street Corner

I saw you there

As I waited in queue to turn left

Windshield wipers chasing furious raindrops

The wind buffeting your cardboard sign

HOMELESS

JUST GOT JOB

NEED MONEY FOR WORKBOOTS

PLEASE HELP

The line of cars began to move forward

I turned left, not stopping for the man

Shame spreading down to my toes

In warm leather shoes.

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This experience happened to me last week as I was leaving the grocery store parking lot.  Why do I freeze up when I see homeless people on street corners asking for money? No matter what the backstory, these people are in need and they aren’t out stealing for it.

I live on a very modest income but I have enough to where I contribute to charities monthly.  Maybe it’s seeing the actual face of need in person? All I know is that I did not go back through the traffic but I am making a commitment to change.

I just started following a blog by Cristian Mihai. Cristian is a talented writer from Romania with some type of serious, ongoing medical issues that appear to keep him housebound. He has put out a plea for donations to help pay is medical bills after his attempt to sell reblogs & books has not been enough.  In a sense, he has put himself on a virtual street corner.  To be honest, that same morning I had read his post, I felt the same hesitancy as when I drove past the man on the street corner. When I got home I made immediately made a donation to him on his Pay Pal account.

Times are tough for many in the world, but there is enough to go around if the wealth is spread.  Cristian has over 120,000 followers.  If every one of those followers donated $.15, his 8,000 medical treatment could be covered.  I am humbled when I think of when back to when my son was critically ill as an infant. Friends and strangers stepped up to help out.  Generosity is something I need to continue working on.

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Roll Call

Would the good of mankind

Please raise your hands now?

Are you still in attendance?

All I hear in this cacophony of voices

Are the whistles of the greedy

The shouts of racists

The fervor of religious zealots

The chest beating of narcissists

& the cries of the oppressed.

I know you are there, somewhere

Interwoven in this dark fabric of society

Doing good deeds for others

In humble silence

All but shut out from the print

& the stage of the media

Dwarfed by noise

But not by stature

Hidden in the chaos.

(writer’s note:  written  Fall 2016 during election season)

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