Fill every palm,
You won’t know which,
Will return hearts calm.
The gaze of God must surely be of disdain for his creation.
I watched the man with his head bowed in defeat.
He’d taken all the blows to his ego in a day that some endure in a lifetime.
I saw myself sitting there on his milk crate, palm out, head down, neck aching from falling asleep from the monotony of being war torn.
The combatants? Society! His fellow humans, walking, ink stained skin, hair colour, op shop clothes and doc martins.
You’ll see them at the forefront of socialist marches, you’ll read them on facebook
pages calling out bigots but they’re the most treacherous of liars.
In real life they walk past human beings like they don’t exist. Disbelief in one ventricle of their heart, ignorance in another, arrogance in the other and lastly the fourth ventricle filled with judgement.
They could prattle off a thousand proofs of God’s non existence, proof of their thousand doubts nonetheless but they need this belief, to solidify their disbelief in their cause, their fake humanity, their fake activism, their fake everything.
How hard is it to place a dollar in the palm of someone who is asking.
So I stopped, emptied my pockets into his hand and waited to look into his eyes, not to receive acknowledgement, but to acknowledge him instead. To say, ‘Hey, I see you, I feel you, I know your hunger, I’m ashamed too, my soul is broken but still hopeful, my belly is empty and my toes cold from exposure even in the end of summer days. I feel the strain in your back, the numbness of your legs, and the inability to look up and ask.’
On this day sir, I am ashamed, hearing horns blare, brakes squeak, boots stomp and coffee cups clang as the frother’s steam bellows out of shops and people walk past you pretending not to see, as if looking at you would remind them of just how peasantry they are inside, just how poor and destitute they are, and how bereft of ego, rich and free you are.
That’s why they don’t put a dollar in your hand, they subconsciously envy you with hatred, whilst I envy you with full consciousness.