This poem was written after a homeless lady that has been sleeping close to my work with her 3 children was forced away this morning. She was just so sweet and I know that because I took a moment to listen to her smile…
The cold of the night grips the mother’s skin as she wraps her body around her children, protecting them with nothing but the beat of her heart and a faded blanket
The warmth of sun brings her no comfort, only a fear of time
She bends her head away and recoils from judging eyes
The man who walks past her doesn’t care for the tear that has etched a scar down her cheek
The woman glances past her as if she wasn’t even there
Her blood runs faintly through her veins – but run they do
Her eyes cry shameful tears – but cry they do
Her children laugh broken laughs – but laugh they do
Her soul is jaded – but a soul she has
Her hopes are warped and tainted by hardship – but hopes she has
Her lips smile a broken smile – but smile they do
Do you think by looking away, pretending that she isn’t there is going to make her go away?
Is sharing a smile too costly for you?
Is sharing a quiet moment with her too loud for you?
Are you scared?
She is scared. Trust me. She is scared
She is scared of the life path of her children but the fear is not enough to stop her from entwining her fingers in theirs as they sleep.
She is scared of the demons that haunt her waking moments but the fear is not enough to stop her from smiling at a stranger.
She is scared of the shadows that leaves the taste of blood in her mouth but the fear is not enough to stop her from playing in the rain.
So remember that when you rest your head tonight.
Remember that when you close your eyes, under the dirt and grim, under the eye-shadow and plaited hair… we are all human.
So share a smile and a kind word to the lady that you never used to see!