It all happened so fast

A nearly full moon cast depth and shadow onto clouds; Christmas clouds. Cold as it was, the stars on Christmas night seemed especially bright; extra-twinkly.
Good times and good cheer had been shared throughout the day. Families with families had welcomed me in, treated me like their own.
The streets were bereft of traffic. Street lights changed to green well before you got there, seeming to push you forward to a warm house, waiting pets.
Another stoplight, but this one's red.
On the sidewalk is a man. He was crouched on his knees and sat on his heels. Head bowed, it took me a minute to register that it was a man. And he was huddled inches from the roadway.
He looked up as the light turned green. From underneath a filthy stocking cap and beard, his eyes met mine.
In that split-second before my right foot went from brake to gas, automatic as it is, I thought to give him the money in my pocket. The leftovers in the back.
But the light was green and I went through. I picked up speed.
I can't help but think about this seed of time.
I can't help but think why I didn't just let the light cycle through again.
And help this man, with no home and no place. On Christmas.
And I feel somehow cowardly. Less of a man, a person.

2 comments:

Jason said...

I feel like I've been there to, my man. The only thing to do is look on it as an opportunity to do the right thing next time that happens.

uNCLE e said...

I think this has happened to ALL of us, man.
I agree with Jason, and that is to do the right thing the next time the opportunity arises.

And it will...