The Man

My children and myself were out on our front steps one late morning in fall playing with the dog and talking, when a man came by on the sidewalk. This individual had very obviously suffered some kind of illness or injury that left him needing support for balance in order to remain upright.
Every day regardless of weather, whenever I was out there, I would see him pass, though usually on the other side of the street. We had exchanged nods. His hands were always being used to hold on to an empty shopping cart.
The youngest of my two asked me, “Mom, what is that?” I sucked in my breath, wanting to scream, but said softly but audibly “That is a man.”

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