Photo Challenge #84 – October 27, 2015 – On the Post Office Steps

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Image “Somewhere in Between” by Anne Worner CC BY-SA 2.0.

He sits on the Post Office steps

His clothes wrapped tightly around

A frame that now days feels the cold.

He appears as the workday begins and takes his position

Doesn’t bother anyone just watches

The world go by, same as it’s always done.

Regulars nod to him as they pass

A boy from the support unit delivers him a coffee

Asks no payment despite the man’s offer

A ritual they both respect.

The boy looks into his eyes

Struggles to find words that don’t

Tie his vocal cords in knots

‘H…ave a g…od day,’ he mutters

As he hurries off into his world.

The man sips and observes,

Aware that if you come too close

His smell is overwhelming.

Washing is not so easy

He is embarrassed by the invisible circle

Around him.

The bathhouse is closed

The nearest one is a train trip,

That means people, that means ridicule,

He suffers the indignity of solitude.

A small girl approaches

Looks into his face

Wonders the story behind each crease

Touches her own bland face imagining,

Her mother notices and drags her away

The man is unmoved, watches and waits

For one day that same girl will ask him his story.

Written for: https://mindlovemiserysmenagerie.wordpress.com/2015/10/26/photochallenge-84/

This entry was posted in Poetry, writing challenge and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

18 Responses to Photo Challenge #84 – October 27, 2015 – On the Post Office Steps

  1. Lyn says:

    It’s so sad that this has become all to common these days. Nicely written, Michael. A perfect depiction of the photo.

  2. “Wonders the story behind each crease; Touches her own bland face imagining”
    Beautifully written with compassion and deep-seeing eyes. Compassion the young girl carries with her; knowing eyes of the man on the post office steps.
    “The lost and the forgotten. Not so when stories told in photographs and prose/poetry,” she pronounced, sounding reasonably sure of herself. “Lest, not forgotten by the compassionate.”

    • Dear adh, thanks for your comment, the compassionate in our world are rare and should be revered by us all. Good to see you are sounding ‘reasonably sure of yourself’?
      Have a good evening. Michael.

  3. clothespeggedpat says:

    Michael – once again you weave a story that is compelling in character, depth and breadth of emotion.

    I have a sense of seeing this unfold … watching … not as a photographer … but as a witness who wonders but dares not approach too closely.

    A small girl approaches
    Looks into his face
    Wonders the story behind each crease
    Touches her own bland face imagining,
    Her mother notices and drags her away
    The man is unmoved, watches and waits
    For one day that same girl will ask him his story.

    This ending …. so incredible … it holds such power and dignity.

    Great job Michael – thank you

    Cheers
    Pat

  4. Thanks Pat, its where my mind goes as I see these men and women around the place there faces lined with experiences I can never imagine……sometimes it through the innocence of a child that we can discover the truth behind them,,,,,

  5. J Lapis says:

    Oh MY, this has to be my new favorite of yours, Michael–wowza, enviably well done!

  6. A small girl approaches

    Looks into his face

    Wonders the story behind each crease

    Touches her own bland face imagining,

    I also really loved this section, very moving. Beautiful writing Michael

  7. julespaige says:

    I really do adore this piece. Because the photo in the face reminds me of my grandfathers.
    And I just wish when I was able that I asked them to tell me more of their stories.
    Now I just have to guess and write fiction. 🙂

    Every face, every line a story. Hmm…I hope ‘she’ doesn’t wait too long to ask. 😉

  8. Michael this is excellent, I really loved reading this and taking the place of this man, who is not looked kindly upon by society. Very descriptive and moving.

Please feel free to comment, I appreciate your thoughts.

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