“The Old Woman”


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a tired old woman sits beside me.
her hands are gnarled and rough.
her hair is a knot of silver,
with a few remaining ebony strands.
she glances at me and then i see,
endless pools of stories–
of trials, of experience, of grief.
i think she doesn’t even notice me;
as she stares far beyond the lee–
worrying about things, it seems.
her shoes aren’t new.
her garments look faded and aged.
i see the difficult life she has.
she stands up and walks
to the waiting cashier and pays.
she draws a few coins from her pocket;
one, two, three, she counts.
the moment she finishes paying,
she slowly walks away.
i hastily call and approach her, while i say:
“auntie, forgive my intrusion;
but, may i help you in any way?
i see the tiredness in you.
mayhap, you’ll do me the honor,
of having coffee with me.”
she looks at me and smiles, sadly.
she nods her head and says,
“thank you, dear one, for offering.
i’d love to; yet, i must be on my way.”
i take her hand, gently,
and slip her some money, i have.
she looks surprised;
her eyes glisten with tears.
i walk away, quickly;
so, she cannot give the money back to me.
“dear one, God bless you. thank you for this,”
i hear her whisper, as i leave.

–Diwa

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