By Laura Gail Grohe
When you see me, if you see me,
I am your worst fears found form.
“Pardon me sir,
but could I have a dollar for food?”
You rush by me studying your cuticles
so you don’t have to see me.
“Excuse me miss,
do you have any spare change?”
When I used to rush from subway to office
I never noticed the dust.
Squatting on sidewalk’s edge
fishing for your eye and quarters
the city’s dandruff covers me.
I didn’t start here, few of us do.
It was when I still had a private place
to sleep, to shower, to read,
that I was overcome by almosts.
Almost enough money to pay bills.
Almost poor enough for help.
Almost good enough for promotion.
Almost sick enough for hospital care.
Almost together enough to find a way out.
Between the crushing weight of invisibility
and the slippery slide of not quite enough
I am just another dusty almost.
This poem originally appeared in Writers Resist.