Homeless on Wedding Day

(Composed in December 2020)

What to do with a day
In which you meet a
Bent-over woman in a 
Maroon coat
Huddling by a grocery cart filled with her entire
Life?

A day
In which there was almost
No room in the women’s shelter,
Even for an old, bent-over woman with a grocery cart.
Because of
No staff,
Too many needs
Covid.

What to do with a day
In which a glowing
Young woman in a 
White swiping gown
Glides down the aisle toward her
Groom,
Beaming,
Tear-sparkling?

A day 
In which there was
Still enough room in the sanctuary
For a joy
You could almost press between your fingers
Because despite 
Face-masks,
Limited guests,
Covid,
A man and a woman promising to love and live and die for each other
Twinkles of the wedding we are all
Still
Waiting for.

What to do with a day filled both with
Grocery carts and glittering gowns,
Sterile homeless shelters and first dances,
Rain and uproarious applause?

What to do with a 
Man
Whose tattered underwear flapped in the wind
Smeared with fresh blood,
Naked,
Alone,
Thirty-three years after
No more room in the inn?

What to do with the same
Man
Who waits in Groom’s robes
Sparking white
Face fixed on his Bride-to-be,
Beaming and tear-sparkling?

Seventeen

This is the first in a series of mini profiles I am collecting on the people I meet on the Eastside of Indianapolis. For privacy reasons, no names or photos will be shared. 

All caught up in her colors and twisted hair, she smiled and chattered over invisible tears. Today marked a full 17 years of varying acts of father, mother abdication; culminating in the ultimate withdrawal: Silence. She prattled on about her favorite boy band, her film heroes, when the hero she wanted the most was not strong enough to pick up the telephone; the heroine too caught up in mirror gazing.

Show me the Hero for the woman child who knows no other way than to look for saviors on the silver screen.