Alone I am walking the Pleasant Run trail,
Just under the Raymond Street bridge, heading toward Shelby.
A person is walking, slowly, ahead of me,
And my steps bring me even with his stride.
We walk in silence together. He is middle height, middle age, brown eyes and hair.
Sweatshirt, jeans, and sandals. It is Winter.
Half a mile on, we stop. To the left, along the creek bank, is a homeless camp.
Tent, tarp, and trash, and one person; man or woman impossible to tell.
“What do you see?” the man beside me asks
“An assault to my senses, to the earth, nothing but trash defiling the trail,” comes my immediate answer.
“What do You see?” I ask the man. Quietly…
“Hopelessness. Hopelessness and suffering on the edge of despair” the man with the brown eyes says.
I look again, at the tent, and the tarp and the trash, and the despair.
I look back at the man, but he is gone.
I walk on, alone.
Beth Webber 4-2-2022