He had migrated from the car park to
the sheltered entrance of the supermarket, cradling
his consignment of 'Big Issue' copies, ladling
these out in fantasy to passers-by, one by one...
when I approached, his friendly, eager face
confronted my hesitancy - how could I pass by?
But pass by I did, not without a smile, a 'Hi!'
that made it seem the right and proper thing
to do in the circumstances: just the greeting
paid the due to social etiquette that extracted
a mock reprisal for the turned down request
that quite un-made his day again, and left me to
Hasten on with my life: I didn't need Big Issue:
so why did I feel the need just then? Why did it dog
my steps like his detective eyes through the fog
of shoppers, waiting for me to purchase the exact
price equivalent -- in a lottery ticket:
I looked across the head-bob on the supermarket floor
To where the co-ordinates would place him: no
glimpse of him sanctioned my next move, to lift a form,
and to commence composing my six numbers:
a prayer I recited, that it be God's will alone
I scoop the jackpot - or not! - that to avail myself
of this opportunity was my duty, albeit infra dig:
Not burying my talent in my wallet, and not in Big
Issue either -- but that could be another pound, another
time, like if I saw him on the way out, my brother
in Christ -- ah, that was it! He derived his sustenance
from Jesus, could easily do without my money:
perspective was restored in a providential light.
I was certain I wouldn't win anything that night,
when tumbling balls preceded each withdrawal
of a certain random number: I was certain, so all
certain that this would be my turn the Big Issue
to sell; I would wave to fortune as a passer-by,
and, passed by, count myself blessed to praise God.
('The Big Issue' is a topical magazine with in-depth articles on social issues. By arrangement with the publishers, it is vended to the general public in public places in the U.K. by homeless people who keep a commission per sold copy.)