His Hands Like Coconut Shell
by Maya Best

 His hands like coconut shell
With frostbitten fingers wrapped up in holey mittens.
His breath in front of him, disappearing in the winter breeze.
His aging face and wise old eyes.
The battered Styrofoam cup, held, jingling every so often,
In hopes that someone will spare just a little to find something to eat,
Or a new pair of shoes.
The shelter, overflowing with its crumbling walls,
And endless lines of people with nowhere else to go.
Children, cold and small,
Packed into the crowd, eager for a place to sleep, a single meal to eat.
Lost, confused, dreaming ...
Somewhere where jobs are abundant, where money spreads equally.
A place of second chances, starting afresh, mending his mistakes,
Living the life he never had.
Lights fading, stores closing, night approaching.
He clings to his jacket.
His cheeks scorched and stinging, the thump of his heart slowing, forgotten.
The cup stops jingling, the man stops breathing,

All is quiet now.


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Poem Copyright 2013 by Maya Best

 

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