I Walked Away


A gnarled hand grabs my sleeve.

Lightly, hesitantly, but desperately.

I'm pulled to look;

Forced to see what I've been avoiding.


A woman looks up at me,

With ribs showing through the worn clothes

Messy hair, stained skin, and torn hearts.

With eyes of lost hope,

They are dark pits of agony,

Burning into my hazel pools.


She holds a child at her side,

Balanced precariously on her bony hips.

The toddler gazes at me,

Big brown eyes of sparkling innocence.

He pleads to me without a word.

His conditio explaining,

What words have failed to say.


The little boy's face;

So disgustingly dirty.

Grime covered his face,

Like the Dutch who powders his face.

Couldn't have been dirtier in any way.

His bloated belly pressed to her side

His nose running, a dry cough;

An infection, no doubt.


But that's not the worst part.

As she reached out to me;

A woman with more than her,

One with enough to give,

Like hundreds of others before me,

I pulled my hand astray, and

I walked away.

Guide that inspired this poem: 


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