Walking Through

  It was very dark,

the quiet of early morning

blanketed the few cars

parked outside the gym

where I just enjoyed an

alert-making workout. 
As I stepped out the door

and onto the street 

a young man walked 

toward me,

begging eye contact. 
Cautious, I gave a tiny


As he got closer

the feeling of alarm in me


He was young

his pale skin pock -marked

his coat dirty

and he said, as his eyes 

took me in,

“You have a 



“You, too,” I said,  feeling like a 

heel for my caution. 

I walk briskly to my car, 

lock the doors. 

As I drive away

I look over to see him

walking back and forth 

among the cars in the lot

in the darkness. 

I feel justified in my


and sad. 

Our mutual greeting opened a door

and drew me into wonder about

his story that I imagine

is painful , human


I think of the parts of me

also human and painful. 
What would it cost me


to walk through his side

of the door ?


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