Saturday, September 03, 2005

touch the heart of the one in need next to you

if you can't do the good you want to do
at least do the good that you can

i can't be in louisiana, or mississippi too
can't help the people there
and though i'm offering to take in someone who lost a home
i don't know if they will let me
'cause i don't really have the room
and even if i did
i would have to petition my friends for funds
for me to feed and clothe another
(i know my friends; this they would do)
i feel helpless as i look for ways to give a hand
to the part of you and me now hurting and in desperate need

i was out early this morning
for my daily fitness walk
when upon my return i saw a homeless man
i often see him in the distance
across the street or down an alley
and i thought to myself
if i can't be in louisiana or mississippi too
then at least i can touch the heart
of the one in need next to me
so i lingered on his side of the street
didn't cross until he passed me by
i dislodged my music from my ears
i stopped to say hello

he is gaunt and drawn
with most of his teeth now gone
to some he looks quite like a drunkard
or perhaps a mental kind
(but i know better)
i stopped to say hello
his face brightened
he said hello too
what a beautiful day, i offered
it's gorgeous, he replied
and such low humidity too!
i smiled back at him
and then he said to me
kindly, like a father
all this walking that you do
this exercise for you
is making you fit
and you are looking really good

i had never known he had noticed me
much less, that he had cared
his compliment
humbled me
he made my day
and as i walked away
i began to cry

photography by graham jeffery

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