Poverty of Compassion

When out in this city, or that one across the bay, I often think,
“These bloody homeless people everywhere all the time.”
Sometimes I still do.
Especially on a train like this one, when all I want is peace:
and I want to forget this world isn’t always beautiful;
and that this country is too rich for anyone to be unfed, unwashed, and unsheltered;
and when I’m having a bad day;
and when I am tired;

Peace on a train in a city?
That’s like a sky blue midnight:
it only happens in remote places where trains are sleds pulled by huskies.

When a woman with dirty hair, blackened nails,
and a ragged sweater to thin for this cold day smiles at me and asks,
“Is next stop Civic Center?” I smile back and say “Yes.” Then I think,
“I wish I felt safe to hug you.” We could both use a hug.

Leave A Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *