Shopping Cart

Windshield wipers
back and forth, back and forth,
a metronome of tidiness,
back and forth, back and forth.

Mechanical order—
makes it easy to see
despite the rain.

Autopilot behind the wheel,
behind more wheels.

I look out the window to a common sight.

Unlike black or white,
the color of grey,
cold rain shimmers on his shopping cart,
his moving van on flimsy wheels.

All he can bequeath, inside.

His face,
weathered by human ambivalence.

The gray hairs that crown his glory,
do not soften;
we have somewhere to be.

Later,
I spot a homeless man with a sign
I cannot read, 
I role down the window
hand him two bucks
so I can feel good again,
relieved,
it isn’t me. 

 An anxious hand
accepts my expiation, 
my sin of disregard is lifted, 
until I feel sandpaper skin
harsh against mine,
I cringe 
and wonder,
why?

One thought on “Shopping Cart

  1. I really dig this poem as well–a cinematic scene that captures that economic reservation–that other city–within our city. A city we often treat as invisible. Working that line between us and them is so tricky, and this poem captures that. What is the gesture?

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