She Looked Like Someone

D. I. Ríos   (October 30, 2022. Connecticut)

On the porch outside, 


For the door to open.

Youngish, white, mask-wearing.

Muddy sandals on a cold day,

Worn feet and mottled, pink, ankles.

I try not to stare.

I’m there to care, dropping off groceries.

The sore on her forehead announced who she was.

It made me see smudges from Jesus

Of saliva and dirt mixed to heal.

Ashes on our foreheads, 

Crosses to remind, 

That we belong to God.

She had a sore, a large scratch? Evidence of a fall?

It was all she could do to stand by the door that 

Opened for food, 

To get through the day,

To feed her child.

“I found out s/he likes string cheese” she says

When the door opened and a long arm

Extended out with fresh, white, tendrils of milk.

God knew.

We knew.

Her addictions would take her down 

Into a well.

She could drown forever inside a leper colony.

But today, 

Kind words, fresh cheese,

A smile from others,

Makes her part of humanity

If only for today. 

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