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Somewhere at the intersection of Here and There

In the early morning hours
before the sun has a chance to even shine
I stand waiting in the bus stop, shivering
and nursing a cup of coffee
I decide to light up a smoke

The flame from my trusty BIC lighter
must seem like a beacon, calling the sailors home,
to the down and outers who appear out of nowhere
drawn to the glow and the prospect of a freebie
and they hover around me just like a moth dances
to the glow of a streetlamp

Their eyes are sad, defeated, bloodshot and pleading,
their hands are covered in grime, their fingernails caked in dirt
their faces unshaven, their hair twisted in knots.
They are clothed in countless layers
of discarded coats and sweaters that,
like many of them, have seen better days

These are my people of the morning,
the castoffs and the downtrodden,
I pass out the few smokes I can spare,
dish out whatever change I have in my pocket
and they thank me profusely for this simple act

I know they will be there tomorrow,
not by choice, but by necessity
As will I

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