He sits there at the signal with his raggedy boots
His torn gloves reveal his crumpled finger nails
Hoping to find someone who’d be kind enough today
To lend him a helping hand or a warm piece of bread
Trying to find comfort on his old wheelchair
Placing his head on his hand for support
He doesn’t ask for money but sits with a cup
Not spending much of his energy needlessly begging
He has less of it and needs to savor every bit
Before he clogs on the floor in the freezing rain
I pass by him every day feeling guilty
And with every pass I feel my sin rising
I do nothing but lower the volume of my blasting radio
I feel sorry but bring him no joy
As soon as I make my turn my memory fades
Leaving no trace of his face behind
But still the lack of my generosity
Haunts my need of self surviving lust
The old man sits and questions me every day
Even though it’s only for a minute
His existence propels me to gravity
I realize therein what goodness is worth
Deep down somewhere I never seem to forget
Is his life only worth my one minute a day?
Is God judging me every time I do nothing?
Turning my face away as I drive by in my brand new car
Warm and cuddled in my brand new fleece
With brand new Timbs that warm up my feet
Is guilt the only thing I can afford?
For the man who sits in hope every day
What if it was God testing me in his frayed apparel?
Giving me a chance that I miss to take
One minute of my day could mean so much more
If only I’d give this old man something more than remorse.
~ Falak, 17th December 2007.