Tuesday, December 8, 2015

From the Notebook of J Michel




Lexington and 86th     

I had never seen him at Lexington and 86th before;
Maybe he was newly homeless,
replacing the sad-eyed-blue woman 
I'd grown accustomed to. 
It wasn’t his sign that caught my eye –
“Homeless and hungry.
Anything helps.”
It was is hands, clasping tightly;
the way he rocked back and forth
like a child, wracked with bedtime anxiety,
who prays for angels that never come.
It was the tears pouring down his cheeks.

When I put the bag filled with snacks down in front of him
he started
as if I had –indeed –surprised some fervent
and heart-wrenching prayer.
For a second all my own,
I took in his clothes,
his hands, his tear-stained countenance
(not yet grubby with weeks)
and wondered: had God
chosen me to be an angel?

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