The Vagrant
By Lance Landall
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The Vagrant
By Lance Landall

I slowed as he approached me, aware of his outstretched hand,
Watching, as his haunted eyes, nervously my face scanned.
Words were unnecessary, for so plainly I could see,
A poor dispirited being, silently pleading with me.

Deeply saddened and disturbed by this visible tragedy,
I reached into my pocket, in response to his silent plea.
His torn and dirty clothing held my deeply concerned gaze,
And I wondered to myself, “Just how many nights and days”?

It was not for me to ask, it was not for me to know,
Where any money given, might wrongly, or rightly go.
And what right had I to judge this poor man who roamed the town,
Who might well seek alcohol, hoping misery to drown.

How could I not take the time, to help some dear mother’s son,
That most, out of ignorance, contemptuously would shun.
This poor wretch who slept on streets, might well have been you or I,
Hence why now his silent plea, I wasn’t about to deny.

How could I deny this man some momentary relief,
This vagrant, who seemed shipwrecked, on an emotional reef.
Another human casualty, whose hopes and dreams lay scattered,
Tenaciously clinging to rocks, and indifferently battered.

Smiling, I took hold of his arm, and placed money in his palm,
Gladly, unhesitatingly, and without one single qualm.
Not used to such response, a tear wet the ground below,
For seldom did humanity, this vagrant, such kindness show.

As he turned to walk away, I just couldn’t help but say,
“I come this way each week, friend, round 9 a.m. each Tuesday.”
I knew that he had heard me, but he dared not turn around,
Lest it be, his new-found friend, notice more tears wet the ground.

 

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Painting by Mary T. Hoffman - God's Creation in Art

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