A neighbor thanked me for a simple kindness,
restaurant takeout my diet wouldn't allow.
So off I went, the food still hot and fresh,
to find a someone who needed it more than I.
He was young, wary, browned, and thin,
as one might expect from homeless youth.
He greeted me with a distant smile -
measuring me, and what game I played.
I told him my tale as best I could, and
mentioned where the meal had been made.
He studied me with understanding eyes and
politely corrected my pronunciation,
as he might his grandfather stumbling over
a slangy rap song title.
He took my offering and traded his thanks.
A grin played his lips, a joggled memory perhaps.
Taken aback, I managed, "Yes, that's the place,"
and went on my way, never too old to learn.
braver than brave -
cover their heads
to protect their
Cover your face,
to protect everyone
Had i but
known by heart,
many years ago,
Romeo's scathing words
aimed at the anguished
"I give you poison,
You give me none."
God be my witness,
i would have taken
as my second language,
and been a better man