MY FELLOW AMERICAN
It is a bitter cold day.
His unshaved face is hunched over a grocery cart
Filled with plastic and tin and clothing;
And his eyes are fixed
On disappearing sidewalk.
I pull my car over , and call out “Pops!”
He stops and stares and I see he is of my generation.
I pull a twenty from my wallet,
“How ‘about a cuppa Joe, Joe?”
His eyes light up as he barely
reaches through the window,
Promising he won’t hurt me.
I sigh and shove a bill at him.
He takes it gratefully, and then
He spots the mistake:
With tearful eyes he tries to correct
The error I never made.
“Uh, this is a Jackson, Miss,”
And tries to hand it back.
“No mistake Bud. So get yourself
A piece of pie too, huh.?”
He makes a sound
I honk I wave I drive away.
In my rear-view window
He stands tall
He shakes his head and smiles.
For a moment he is a man with a mission.
Melanie Alcorn 8/NOV/2014