Jim

I used to meet you in the park.
You had pride- you said.
"This is only temporary.
I'm looking for a job,
Not living on welfare."

You wore the same shirt every day.
And tried not to look too happy
When I gave you apples and granola bars.
You said thanks, but never got sentimental.
I didn't expect you to.

My kids adored you.
And I wondered what you thought,
When they ran to hug you,
And you knew I wasn't their mom.
But the look on your face
When those sweet smelling arms threw round your neck.
Was muted.
But somehow priceless.
Because you hugged him back.

I didn't know what to do with you.
You slept and ate in the park at night.
You told me of whole families that slept under the jungle gyms.
As out of the way and hidden as possible.

How many people left before I got there?
Merrily dragging my plastic wagon,
Jamming to my walkman
And trying not to yell when the kids howled.
How many lives did I pass by,
Before I met you?

You called me your lucky charm.
Said things went better when I was around.
I didn't take you seriously.
After all, what was a nanny to be lucky?
But I gave you an apple and a water bottle,
Grinned and said I'd pray for you.
You were a good man,
You never flirted.
Were never inappropriate.
I think you saw me as an angel.

Sometimes I wonder if it wasn't the other way around.

I wrote down a job board for you to check out,
And a week or so passed by
I never saw you again.
I still think of you,
Dear heart, good man.
And the day I learned to trust you.

Its a story I've told no one.
I gave you my whole paycheck.
Two hundred dollars folded crisp-thin
And I tucked them into a King James Bible.
My heart was flooded with worry as I gave it to you, and you left.
I picked up my children and got ready to go.

Suddenly you were back, holding the money.
The look on your face was, yet again priceless.
You tried to give it back to me.
Thought it was a mistake.
Of all the people I've ever helped or listened to,
I met a very good man.

I told you to keep it.
Smiled, we parted ways.

I'd see you again after that,
But only now do I consider.
Good, brave, homeless man.
That to have found the money
Tucked into the New Testament-
You must have opened that Bible.

I pray often that you've since opened it again.
And I pray often for you, Jim.

Comments

Need to talk?

If you ever need help or support, we trust CrisisTextline.org for people dealing with depression. Text HOME to 741741