by Janis Gaines

I reached in my purse
To buy all his dreams.
A ticket here and a new life there,
A grand adventure overseas —
Everything a young man needs.

When I open my hands to give,
They are empty.
Some petty thieves pick-pocketed my heart
And robbed me of my rightful wages.
Beaten for bets on who could draw first blood
With no good Samaritan in sight.

So I sat on every corner
In rags of shame
With a beggar’s cup
Hoping for change.

I scrounged enough coin
To buy him socks instead —
New, white socks
Socks that I hope will comfort him
When he realizes what could have been,
What should have been.

© October 4, 2012
Asheville, NC