She Passes By
by Ambrose C Madden
Sunday, December 30, 2007
Rated "G" by the Author.
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During the hour I waited for my ride home from my job in downtown Pittsburgh, I sat on a bench in a small park in Gateway Center, writing. After a while I began to recognize the "regulars", people who would pass by at the same time of day or same days of the week. This woman was one of them.
She Passes By
Each day she slowly passes by, unsteady, moving on.
Her steps are small, look painful, it seems minutes till she’s gone.
She could be in a wheelchair, but that doesn’t seem her style;
With cane, and sway, and limping steps, each hour gains a mile.
She doubtless works a job near here; it couldn’t be too far.
She passes me to cross the street to reach her bus or car.
She could be sitting in her home, awaiting some small check,
And feeling that she has a ‘cripple’ sign around her neck.
Instead, she earns her living, in a way that I can’t tell,
And every day’s a penance that will keep her out of hell.
I’ve never spoken to her, not a word to break the ice;
To say the weather’s turning cool, or that her hair looks nice.
And yet, I think I like her, for the strength she bears inside,
That every step of walking makes impossible to hide.
When I am tired of running, I can think about her strength,
And steadily keep loping on till run has reached its length.
She’d never be a model, for a runway’s far too long,
And that’s a path for vacant minds, not her, who’s more than strong
In every way that matters,
As through life she limps along.
Copyright © 2007 Ambrose C. Madden