Beautiful downtown Atlanta is the scene for this true encounter for which I am still ashamed after 30-years. Never will it happen again. Never. . . ever.
Beautiful downtown Atlanta Sunny, blue, cloudless sky Tall, wide, massive buildings Window glass glistening in the sun Beautiful, well-dressed people Gainfully employed people Taking care of business people Running essential errands Contributing to the community Pursuing positive, purposeful lives.
I take in the sights, sounds, smells Sounds of people walking, talking Engines revving and car horns Smells of restaurants and fast food vendors Engine exhaust and overheated brakes The feel of the sidewalk Under my expensive dress shoes The heat of the sun on my face and neck The exciting hustle and bustle Of a thriving metropolis.
A faint “Please, sir. . .” reaches my ears And a homeless man appears Dirty, disheveled, hirsute “Please, sir. Could you. . .” His weak speech trails off As I divert my eyes, quicken my pace Ignoring his petty pleas As he disappears in my wake Bothersome soul, good riddance Why doesn’t the city do something?
Days later the encounter haunts me I was so proud of the way I handled myself How easy it was to dismiss a soul in need Months later the encounter haunts me Instead of the clever human I had become cruel, inhuman Unfeeling, unkind, uncaring Years later the encounter still haunts me Never will it ever happen again Never. . . ever.