He was sitting on the stone cold step outside the Co-op
A thin blanket around his thin shoulders
His outstretched hand reached out to me
And touched my heart.
I gave him the cup of coffee I had been drinking
He seemed pleased, I felt good.
I saw him again on Saturday night, he looked thinner
His face hidden beneath a dirty grey hoodie.
Once more the outstretched hand reached out to me
I gave him a warm blanket, made of wool.
He grunted thanks, I felt good.
One week later I went looking for him on the stone cold step
outside the Co-op
He was sitting on the woollen blanket,
his eyes shrunken into his skull
I gave him my coat.
He gave an almost imperceptible nod of his covered head
And stretched his hand towards me again.
I fumbled in my purse, and gave him all I had – he grunted “Huh”
I felt I’d let him down.
My friends said I was losing weight, my clothes no longer fitted me.
I gave my sweater made of cashmere
To the hooded skeletal figure on the doorstep
outside the Co-op
His jeans were frayed and dirty from the streets
I gave him mine, they no longer fitted me.
He looked up, his broken teeth bared in a forbidding, dangerous smile.
I flinched. His outstretched hand pulled at my wrist,
I backed away, he held me.
I tried to run but his fingers tightened their grip, digging into my flesh
He pulled me in the direction of my home.
His grip on my wrist burning hot
I turned at my door to see him, he grinned, his eyes seeking my soul.
His face now no longer thin, his bony fingers now fleshy,
his rotted teeth Improved.
I looked at my hand. I saw my reflection in his eyes. My face skeletal
with shrunken cheeks,
My shadowed deep set eyes
He laughed a croaking triumphant laugh as he entered my house
And pushed me out.
I turned and my feet took me back to the stone cold step
Where I crouched down outside the Co-op
A thin blanket appeared on my thin shoulders
I held my outstretched hand towards an approaching stranger
Who walked on by.