Embracing the Homeless Woman Selling Papers

her gloveless hands presenting dusty news
her crisp brown eyes rising and quickly plummeting to her graying sneakers with each
squeaky swipe of the automatic doors as shoppers exit, heavy bags swinging from
their elbows
this word in front of that word that you hear yourself say to her

we suffer
when we believe in things
we do not understand

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the outsideness of her world to you
that you can never know if you feel warmth the way she does, too small for her thin,
dull-brown coat, and her body, especially her eyes
that it was you who needed the hug

and when we do not quite believe
in people, places or things,
it is not quite suffering

the creases clawing at the corners of her eyes
the smile she gives you as she tells you about the slow death of her cat,
which was outside with her always, and great on a leash without ever being trained
how you reach into and then out of yourself to get that hug

but if we are very certain
that a person, place or thing
is something else,

then we should use a metaphor –
like hugging that cat-less woman is a very full grocery bag – then again,
what is a better metaphor for suffering than itself standing on its own
two tired feet
holding you with its own two gloveless hands

we suffer/ when we believe in things/ we do not understand

Comments are automatically closed two weeks after an article's initial publication. See our comments policy for more.
Jane Smith
11 months 3 weeks ago

So great! It's wonderfulll how deep is this mater piece. thanks survival games

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