Every day I drop a dollar in the homeless man’s hat.
The chink-clink of the coin is a sign that hearts are alive.
It’s the dog that pulls at our purse strings. Little Jack Russell
in her pink woolly jumper curled in his lap, head bowed
like his. A life of luxury awaits with one of the ladies
in lipstick and high heels, who bend to pat her and
chat to her master at Central Station. Always a fresh
bowl of biscuits but no warm bed.
As autumn falls breath steams in the cool morning air,
she needs that jumper but his is stained and threadbare,
like his life, caught in the crevice of society. It could happen
to anyone who falls off the edge when there’s no-one to catch
them. I imagine my nails that grubby, my hair that messy,
half moons under my eyes that black. Is my dollar a day enough?
It does little to ease my sorrow for this man and his dog, as I huddle
into my cashmere coat I’m grateful for the gifts of my own life.
There’s a man on every corner at Central Station, many lives frayed.
If every passerby spared a dollar a day to one man would that
be enough? Yesterday he was frisked by police, the dog watched
helplessly, in her pink coat, along with other voyeurs, wondering,
he hitched up his tatty jeans and buckled his belt. Did they find
the magic dollar in his pocket, the winning lotto ticket —
an escape to dignity, warmth and freedom?
I’m searching for a happy ending but I only have a dollar a day.