A homeless woman sleeps outside the door.
She smells of urine so the customers
Who eat brioche and talk about the poor
Step wide of her in winter and in summer.
But she has noticed them in their retreat
Of tea and café latte ambiance.
Oh, yes, she sees their pious nonchalance.
They give her quarters on the holidays
And she would give them stories with her gaze:
A childhood served on white enamel plates;
A father’s drunk abuse; teen runaway;
The search for something—love, or merely dates—;
A candy-wrapper life in lingerie.
But eye contact is precious on the street.
She takes their pocket change and falls asleep.
And I’m no better in my arrogance
And its complacent little cubicle.
If I could be like Jesus, just for once,
I’d wake her up and make her beautiful.