|Mr. Beggar Man|
by CJ Heck
Mr. Beggar Man, you were such a gentle soul.
Each day, you were dressed exactly the same -- a stained red plaid shirt, brown felt hat speckled with bird poop, and saggy-baggy pants that stopped just above two heelless shoes with holes that were see-through to feet with no socks.
So many mornings I walked by your corner, sometimes
putting money in your cup, if only to borrow one of your smiles when I had none left of my own.
Somehow, I always knew that the smile you gave me would be the one that found those I had only misplaced for a while.
Countless times we shared a lunch together, as you did with so many others. Sometimes, I brought you hot soup and coffee from the deli across the street. Other times, you shared half of my tuna sandwich from home.
You, in return, shared your wooden pallet to sit on, but never once a conversation. And all the while, you never missed a beat as you continued to pass out your glorious smile to everyone who glanced your way as they hurried by.
I've often wondered, what happened in your life to make you take up residence on that corner -- only to die cold and alone?
I'm saddened to know the smiles you apportioned to countless others were your only living legacy.
I wish I could somehow tell you, you are missed by many, even the shopkeepers who so often shooed you away. I hope you knew what your smile meant to me ... and I regret I never even knew your name.
[from the book, "Bits and Pieces of a Writer's Soul"]
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"A writer soon learns that easy to read is hard to write." ~CJ Heck