Friday, October 12, 2018

Compassion's Guidance

People tend to take circumstances out of context when they read poetry, but many times I, as a poet, never reveal too much about the events that created the poem in the first place. Compassion's Guidance was written out of sheer terror, not because I was afraid of a homeless person, but because shortly before that I was attacked by Brianna's father. I was pushed so hard I flew across the room and landed back first, at that moment I couldn't hardly breathe, and my skull cracked. When I helped the homeless person, it was a cry for help for both of us. I have been homeless before, and I just wanted to give the person some comfort and sustenance to get through the day considering how cold it was. Sure, I was living in an apartment, but it was a horror movie inside day and night. I honestly didn't want to be attacked again, and since I didn't know this person there was a real possibility of that happening in my mind; it was a simple test of trust in humanity. I hope where ever the person is that the individual survived the winter and stayed safe. Everyone complains about the South's heat that clings to you because of the high humidity, but people never really talk about the brutal winters and how it affects the homeless. Nor do they speak a word against the police that never arrest the abusers until someone is murdered; hence the new laws in Georgia protecting victims. My children and I are lucky we don't live in such an environment anymore, and we are thankful every single day.

Compassion’s Guidance

The sunless winter envelopes you
When you’re not looking
Clinging to you
With a remarkable reverence
Amid those long frigid nights
When once a homeless man
Cowered beneath
A solemn wooden gazebo
By a spooky fog laden lake
I would calmly look on
Through the midwinter chill
That cared not for whom it scorned
With a biting
Twenty degrees Fahrenheit

I pillaged
Through my cupboards
Of a quite barren kitchen
Searching for packaged food
Of any kind
That would warm a fruitless soul
With a foundation of hope
To cleanse away
The cobwebs of doubt

I warmed up
A huge bowl
Of spicy chicken soup
Laced with herbs
To pacify
The medicine woman within me
I sealed it with compassion
To keep it fresh and warm
Hoping Jack Frost
Would keep his curiosity
At bay

I made coffee
For no reason at two
On that very murky morning
I stuffed as much food
As I could
In an old grocery bag
Even some aspirin I think
In case the man had a cold
One five dollar bill
In case hunger captured his soul 

I wrapped up warmly
Without hesitation
I opened
My apartment door
So very quietly
I trudged down
The steep concrete slope
My heart palpitating
Bravely within my chest
For the first time
In a quite long while

I crept
Tiptoeing ever so gently
Afraid of stirring
The shivering vagabond
On an unyielding picnic table
Terrified of breathing too loudly
For fear he might wake up
And notice who I was

I place the goodies
Down right beside him
And he shifted just a bit
I never spoke a word
I didn’t think it necessary
I didn’t think it relevant
The importance I surmised
Was his survival
Of one more
Wind swept wintry day ©

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