Together They Weeped



Help me, please someone help me. I am drowning. People walking each direction. No one stopping but each person looking. No one getting involved. Too busy  living, distracted minds.

One soul tossed a few coins in the direction of the cry. Lost children scampering to gather precious solids into their tiny hands. Claiming change for their own; needed for a nibble of food.

Blood droplets covering ivory skin. Knotted hair, rats won’t even come near, afraid to take it as their own nesting ground. Eyes no longer showing whites but rimmed with red. But no one stops to listen, no one stops to help.

Clothing tattered and torn. One could only speculate that something horrific had just happened, but it is not our problem.

A poor man with all his belongings walks by with his cart. He stops, he scratches his dirty head. Children jeer, people point. He gazes at the poor soul and then turns a way. He takes his precious commodities out one by one. He lays each item carefully on the paved street.

At the bottom of the cart lays a worn piece of fabric. A very important item to him. It is used to cover the holes in his cart so that nothing can escape. He takes it out and holds it up. He inspects for dirt and shakes it with vigor.

Upon satisfaction he walks over to the poor lady  lying half-naked in body and soul. He bends down ever so gently and lets his open-gloved fingers caress her forehead. A tear drips down on to her face, erasing a spot of old blood.

He mumbles something that only she can hear. He looks behind him to see if his cart is still in tact. He sees a gathering of watchers, but he pays them no mind. He turns back to her and he gently and ever so carefully places his covering over her.

He pulls at the corners until no visible wrinkles can be seen. He digs into his green baggy pants and pulls out his change. Without thinking he opens her fingers and places it all in her hand and then closes her fingers over as if to protect it from the outside world.

He watches her to see if she will move or speak. He looks deep into her eyes and sees reflections of the deepest skies. Her eyes say thank-you and his return with tears of you’re welcome.

He is saying, I wish I could do more, but I have nothing. He turns and looks at the crowd who are whispering among themselves. He can almost predict they are thinking, who is this bum and where did he come from. Why doesn’t he clean himself up and get a job.

The man walks back to his cart and puts each piece back in its rightful place. He looks through tears at the streets that he once walked through with so much pride. His heart being stabbed by painful memories of a past not so long ago.

He walks towards his journey of no where. He is searching for a new shelter, for the night will come soon. His head hanging down thinking of that poor soul. Wondering why no other would reach out to help.

So intense in his thoughts he did not notice someone walking towards him. Footsteps went without notice. A hand placed on his arm  brought him back to reality and he looked to his side and there stood the poor lady who he had covered.

He stopped and she let him guide her to an oak tree. He looked into her eyes and he saw the most beautiful eyes searching his. A few minutes of soul bonding passed and then she said, I come from a family that was well blessed. Sadly to say a year ago today, they were killed in an airplane wreck. I have been left a lot of money. I  was taught to share and I prayed and prayed about what to do with it. I set the scene and then you walked by. You have nothing and yet you gave me everything you had. I want to thank-you for being a kind soul. You remind me of my Mama and Papa. I give this to you.

She opens his hands and lays a huge pile of thousand dollar bills. She wraps his fingers around his treasure as if to keep the outsiders a way. Tears are flowing down his face. He is speechless. He has a large knot in his throat and his stomach.

She leans into him and gives him a warm embrace. He feels the human touch of compassion and love and he carefully places his arms around her also. Together they weep.

Terry Shepherd