Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Tuesday Poetry

Yes folks, it's that time of the week again. The time where I attempt to squeeze unwilling words from my fingertips trying to make something resembling bad poetry spring forth. This week, I had to really think. What do I want to say? What story do I have to tell? I'm not sure I have a story to tell, not anything riveting, not anything amusing, not anything revelatory.

I've been thinking a lot lately about how we visited this homeless shelter when I was in high school, and how we served them lunch. For whatever reason, I went and sat with the people while I ate lunch (apparently I was the only one who did), and it was a big deal to everyone but me, because I knew how uncomfortable I was, not willing just to be there with them. But heck, here it is anyhow:

"What's the difference between ignorance and apathy?"
asked the filthy, haggard man sitting across from me
"I don't know, and I don't care."
Peals of screeching, cigarette-riddled laughter echo off of the walls
The cracked linoleum floor
The water-stained ceiling

The table under my fingers is sticky,
as though it holds unto itself all of the need in this place
I force my eyes to meet his
Thinking about how fidgety I am
How they must be able to smell my insecurity

I know filthy streets, vagrants in my path
A miserable allegory of a life
Begging, more with the eyes than the lips
But charity is not a gift I possess
So I walk on
"But for the grace of God, there go I."
So, what is the difference between ignorance and apathy?

I don't know enough to care

No comments: