Every day I see you standing on the street corner.
Sometimes you’re at an intersection.
You’re wearing those same filthy, tattered rags as clothes.
Trying to eke out a living, to feed yourself with whatever money you are able to get.
Your greeting each time I pass is the same: “Morning Sir nothing for me today?”
I just smile and shake my head.
All I can smell on your breath is “stale” alcohol.
Your face is so weather-beaten that you cannot see those dark green eyes.
When I have I put something in your scarred hand.
I notice your hand must have gotten burnt.
I get a thank you and I see those yellow stained teeth of yours.
Can’t be easy to keep them clean on the street besides the cheap tobacco you smoke.
Most times quite honestly, I try to avoid you but often you see me.
The stench on your body is nauseating and I can’t help but wonder what happened to you?
I try to walk on the other side of the road, thinking you won’t see him but every time you do.
You’re like my shadow, always hovering around.
But there was something about you I just couldn’t put my finger on.
At that time it bothered me.
You could say that I was embarrassed because of the way you looked.
Mother Nature wasn’t kind to you with her violent winter storms and harsh summers.
But curiosity drove me so one day I swallowed my pride and spoke to you.
You told me how you ran away from home at 14 years of age.
How you began stealing to make a living.
You showed me the burn marks on his fragile frame.
You explained the times you were imprisoned.
As I listened to your story my soul was in despair. I couldn’t stop my tears from falling down my face. Then you showed me an old photograph of yourself with someone else.
I left there feeling so guilty but that photograph you showed me really puzzled me.
So many questions came to my mind.
Why me? Why did I have to see some unknown beggar?
Suddenly I remembered that I had the same photograph.
Is that beggar my long lost brother?
How is that possible?
I went away embarrassed and ashamed and decided never to go back to look for you.
I heard that you passed away.
Yes truthfully you were my brother I never knew.
From that day forward my life was never the same.
I should have listened to that beggars plea.