My Neighbor

I see a homeless woman setting up her night’s camp in an only somewhat sheltered doorway. It’s two blocks from my apartment building and I think – that could be me. What if it was me? What if it was you? She’s intentionally keeping her back to those passing by, perhaps a way to protect herself. Her back like a wall similar to the one she’s had to build around her heart to survive out there without breaking down completely, without giving up. She must want privacy. I would. I wouldn’t want to sleep there, my bed open to all who might pass by through the night. My husband sees her in the mornngs as he walks to his bus stop. She’s just stirring then. I wonder where she goes from there. Did she get any decent sleep? Will she get a decent breakfast? Are her days all the same? How did she get there? Can she see her way out? What if she can’t? What if it was me? What if I couldn’t? What if it was you?

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