Ivy’s on the corner with her papers and her change.
I stop, she chats and I cheer her on
As she shares this chapter of her life
Titled “October through February,”
Bringing her to this sunny corner in May.
The lines on her face tell a story
Like the layers of life in a beautiful, old tree
Belying the hope that rests in her future
A Birthday away (next month!)
Bringing her Real Change (The monetary kind)
That will take her away from these
Hard, busy streets and the people
Who look past her with their own weights (the monetary kind).
“They don’t even see me,’ she says. “Act like I’m not here.”
Her smile shows the puzzlement she feels—
How she who has so little and appreciates so much
isn’t even acknowledged by those
Who on paper have so much (the monetary kind).
I tell her there is a Someone who sees her,
And I see her too; she matters.
A gentle touch on her shoulder,
resting a dollar in her hand
I turn into the bright day,
Confident she has riches more than
Anything of the monetary kind.
**photo from 2013 trip to NOLA