The Walking Man

it was so cold

I heard his footfalls on the pavement behind me.

Starting on one end of town, I rode

in my car and the wind blew.

Along his way, he picked up a huge white plastic garbage bag

and it was full.  His coat was open.  Too open for the cold day.

He might not be able to dress himself properly, I thought.

Since living here, I have seen him many times.  Working at the local

print shop, he made a copy for me one day.  He charged twenty-five

cents.  He kept saying it over and over.  Twenty-five, twenty-five.

I think I know him.  He is not homeless.  He is challenged.  He is on

his own and he also has friends around town.  It was very cold and he

was walking.  I was in a car; I could have given him a ride.  Previously, he

would not accept anything from my hand.  He has been taught well to protect

himself.  Walking on past me, his shoes clicking on the sidewalk.

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