Kneeling on the corner

I saw you out of the corner of my eye. You were well hidden between the abandoned store front and busy bus stop. The vacant look in your eyes made me wonder if we should leave you alone. If talking to me would be upsetting for you. Gently, I offer some socks and handwarmers. You don’t hear me or understand what I am doing and look scared and worried. I hold out a pair of Kirkland brand tube socks and we start a conversation. Your story reveals that you’re forty-two, a Navy veteran, and that your brain is extremely tired. You are confused about the details of your Military service but are interested in talking with a counselor and accessing benefits. I give you my pen and you write down phone numbers, addresses, and bus routes. Gradually the countenance of your face becomes brighter, your speech more articulate. We discuss the two bloody scratches on your neck. They are deep and concerning. Emblematic signposts of your suffering and longing for safety. You genuinely seem to understand the danger you’re in. We kneel down on the busy sidewalk, hold hands, and pray for healing, peace, and rest.

Michael Cox

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