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My hands are trembling

My feet are dragging

My heart is pounding

Fear grips my being

And quick, brisk strides are reduced to a toddler’s crawl

But what is it that strikes such fear?

What is it I dread to encounter?

By the sidewalk she sits each morning of every day

A grubby, homeless mother huddled on the street

With three little girls for company all day

And we pass, all of us pass by

To our very important jobs, our busy, busy lives

Come rain, come sun, there she remains huddled

With three little girls, begging pennies for pie

If only their clothes were not so wretched

If only the little one were not painfully emaciated

If only flies did not perch on sores and food alike

Then maybe I’d feel better as I passed by each morning

And like all others passing by

Leave behind a coin to assuage my conscience

As days drag by, so does my feet

Now heavy with memories of a mother by the sidewalk

Hastily dropped coins have not eased sufferings

Neither has it lessened inertia induced guilt

Feet dragging slowly, torturously along the sidewalk

Terrified of what definitely lay ahead

Today, I brace myself for the sight again

Courage is quickly summoned to combat the ordeal

I see three little girls and a grubby, homeless woman

Huddled on the sidewalk on my way to work

I dropped a coin, raised my head and walked away

Praying they would be gone by my next walk byImage