bag lady

saw you with a crisp $20 at the newsstand
the day after i handed you some change
a day when i barely had $20 to spare.
maybe one of the downtown big shots was feeling generous.
maybe you're running game.

gave a lady with a baby $5 once
don't know if she was on something
or just plain unright in the head
but that baby shouldn't have had to suffer
for whatever mama was going thru
at least not that day.

if it looks like i'm ignoring you
it's only because if i stop to see your story
i'll drown in your water
i keep as much change in my pocket as i can
say a prayer as i pass
hoping that you remain safe
and see another day
so you can help somebody else

i'm chanting down the system
or the partner
or the parent
or the corporation
that put you on the street
and working towards their destruction in the ways i know how

but no, i never truly ignore you
you have my face
and i ain't got no money socked away, either.