My heart bled there,
[Her arm spilled from their bundled embrace,
her hanging, homeless, sleepsoft hand
close to sidewalk scruffy concrete, wet,
passing boots kicking confined-close rainy
cars glisten nightlights on the ground.]
all the way home.
[Her puffy pale lips—sleeping lips with angry
pocked, red-ravaging pimples on her cheeks
and behind the scraggy, fringing dash of hair—
Her colour confined to pimples old and new
scattered across pallid skin.]
My heart bled itself to a light limpness,
quiet thoughts for their situation,
and, feeling limp, the pain was soft enough to bear.
‘But they,’ I wrestled, ‘What, to them, is my quiet pain?’
How is my actualized, cultivated sensitivity
to bring succour to their swamped and alienated lives?
[Sleeping close to the storefront wall, protected
by awning as windblown wet splashed
its progress across the concrete, they touched me.
He, hooded, head and shoulders curved protectively
framed her upturned face upon his lap.
Her face, lay numb and open on his lap.
Behind them, against the wall,
the ancient dog who shared their homeless household slept
to escape his aching age.]
My heart bled
me quite limp and useless to these people.
Slumbering, they brushed my soul,
knowing only the cold and hunger that would soon awake them.
Compelled, determined, I went back to buy them
warm and meaty soup.
[The sidewalk, wider now, and easier to traverse,
showed empty where they had lain.
Empty, but for a projected disappearing aura
of lightweight life their bodies had implanted in my mind.
Nervous police had led them stumbling away.]
My heart bled right there; bled right then
for people who'd lost their right to sleep.
Bled black for my idle thinking.
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