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Rain, like weighted tinsel
Splotches the sidewalk.
A rhythmic tap-tap-tap
Escorted by twilight’s wind
Which gusts open the edges of my over coat.

Street lamps wink and blink
Then awaken, twisting the night
Into a visible gloom
Of autumn.

I walked with a brisk pace
Though not late for anywhere
Avoiding puddles on the sidewalk
And in my life.

A muffled sound grinds my gait to a halt
An unwelcome protrusion in my thoughts
A musky scent kidnaps my attention
Followed by the clank of an empty bottle
Tilted off a step.

I turn and see you
Huddled, filthy, unshaven.
A shudder from the cold forces
Your eyes open– your stupored gaze
Meets mine: A silent plea
For help and forgiveness

Of which I offer neither.
I turn away and continue on
Cursing the raindrops dripping
Off the awning of your doorstep quarters,
That slips inside my collar
Slithers down my neck

When I turned away from you
It was not your human-ness
that was diminished
But rather it was mine.

I shudder and continue walking.


Creative Commons License. Photo by Michelle Robinson.  Link Here