One night this winter I met a man
who was living on the streets in a dark,
glass strewn alley between two buildings.
I made delivery of food to an outdoor
party that night and they laid a $9.00
tip on me. Not bad. As I walked back
to my car I noticed a crumpled heap
of dirty blankets and heard a dog's
warning growl. At that, a man threw off
the blankets and we looked at each other.
He hushed his dog and watched me
get in my car. As I got in shame and guilt
washed over me because I had so much
and this man, somewhat younger
than I, had nothing but his dog, clothes,
and a few filthy blankets. He didn't ask me
for anything, just watched me.Not what
I expected from a homeless man which surprised me.
Unlike the poor street beggars that perch
on many corners inTampa, this man had a quiet
dignity and he kept his dog from attacking me.
I walked back to him, gave him my tip and said,
'May God bless you.' He may have had a speech
impairment, because he strained to say to me:
'Do God, do good, do God.' You know, he was right
about that. I think about him often.
Friday, April 2, 2021
Topic(s) of this poem: human being,kindness,neighbor,homeless