Dec. 14: To the bearded man sitting outside on a curb on a cold December morning

with four Santa-sized bags around him,
khaki bits winking out of mostly dirt brown
lumps, his eyes crinkled even in shade

as though the sun shines perpetually in them,
I offer eight granola bars and a bag of garlic
naan, oval hunks of thick bread, which

seems a bit impractical for a man on
the street, but who knows what he
likes to eat? All I know is that there’s

something in those eyes whose color I
cannot determine, in the salt-and-pepper beard
reminiscent of a graying beard I once loved,

in the way his hand reaches for what I have
to share today, in his bless you, which
makes me want to linger for a while.

But I have places to go this day, every day,
tucked in with a tiny bit of fear and reluctance,
so I smile, offer my silent blessing in return

and walk away.

(Photo / Joe Chan)

About janishaag

Writer, writing teacher, editor
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2 Responses to Dec. 14: To the bearded man sitting outside on a curb on a cold December morning

  1. Janet Johnston says:

    Love this. You really brought it home with that last stanza. Thanks Jan!

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