The three of us stood
shoulder to shoulder
street corner, waiting for the light
each in uniform, different.
On my left, a woman who reeked
of wealth, the kind of plenty
that lives in fear
rigid, bronzed exterior,
coated by an elegant patina
she slipped through space
as if fully greased
so anointed was her demeanor.
On my right, the woman held a sign
requesting help or a dollar
or just a smile,
bent from a weight
I could not discern
her clothes, a patchwork of poverty.
And I was in full gardener regalia
rain boots and rain pants and
bright yellow slicker
basted in mud and leaf debris
the rain had glued on like batter,
garbage bag full of collected litter,
bent a little from the weight of the load
but trying to keep my humor.
I turned to my fellows, waiting
for the light, the one on my left,
the one on my right,
and on the left I was greeted by
pride so severe
she could not acknowledge me
standing there, inches away
with warmth to share,
to her I appeared invisible.
So I turned to my right and smiled
and was greeted by a gift of grace,
a warmth of heart, acknowledgement
of the journey shared,
this living in a human form
in such varied aspects
we become confused
forgetting we mirror each other.
For copy of actual issue, go to https://www.realchangenews.org/2007/02/21/feb-21-2007-entire-issue