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A Bit of Change


Author: Lost Sheep
ASL Info:    41 M Vancouver, WA
Elite Ratio:    6.25 - 913 /773 /73
Words: 226
Class/Type: Prose /Nostalgia
Total Views: 1921
Average Vote:    4.6667
Bytes: 1640



Description:


A morning on a side street...


A Bit of Change



Loose change clatters to the street,
Pennies, Dimes,
Dropped in haste from a pocket
Tangled in keys or some other vague object

The man rushes on, heedless
His world is an ugly, demanding place
He can’t be troubled by trifles

Children bound from the shadows
Chasing the coins as they roll down the sidewalk
The man ignores the little cretins
Beggars after insignificant bits of value

Excuse me sir, I think you dropped this.

The man glances down
A single penny
Clutched in a grimy palm
A boy no more than 6
Gritty hair, soiled teeth
Honest eyes, caring soul

Thank you, son

A long, uncomfortable pause

Uh, you can keep that
and , uh, here’s a dollar to go with it


Wow! Thank you sir
I’ll give it to my Mom,
She needs it for food


Another pause, a thought, a decision

Where do you live, Son?

Walking away, purpose changed
The man grasps a paper in his hand
The simple writings of a six year old boy
A name, a location
A place the boy can be found

The man hesitantly smiles
It seems there are good people after all
People that help

People worth helping







Submitted on 2006-08-16 13:08:52     Terms of Service / Copyright Rules
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Comments


  This is beautiful to say the least. The way so much of world of modern life is so concisely captured in two lines.
“His world is an ugly, demanding place
He can’t be troubled by trifles”
I particularly like the change in tone after the first three stanzas, and how it mirrors the change in the man’s view of his world.

On to thoughts;
Some time ago I was walking with friends through the city and we saw a homeless man, I don’t recall why but I gave him a dollar. My friends mocked me for this, saying he would only use it for drugs.

Maybe they would have if they had visited Russia the summer before as I did, where there were beggars everywhere in St. Petersburg, and even college educated people were struggling to find jobs.
Our tour guide was a woman in her fifties who had some post-graduate training but was still only able to afford one set of clothes that were nice enough to run tours. I am not talking about an evening gown, just a very plain woman’s business suit, of the sort flight attendants wear. It was not a uniform, it was clearly her cloths. She didn’t tell us any of this, it was just we saw her in running the same tour for different people on several consecutive days wearing that outfit since we stayed there longer than most people, (who saw the city in a day, and got back onto a cruise ship to leave.) That was what really hit me, that if an educated, hard working, and intelligent person such as herself was barely able to get by, it is understandable that less talented or lucky, people could do a lot worse through no fault of their own. And that saddened me, to think that this place was not near the poorest in the world and here people were simply unable to feed themselves and their families no matter how hard they try…
Returning to the “present;” I thought that might be true, but still. . . They went on to say if they saw a homeless family they would spit in their faces. (These friends did not stay that way.) I told them that was wrong, and inhumane. Just because a person is poor, or begs does not mean they are not a person who deserves at least minimal respect and courtesy. They didn’t agree. That’s ok though, I still give change or dollars to people on the street, and I don’t talk to them anymore.

Sorry for the long anecdotes, but in short I thoroughly enjoyed your work, as is usually the case.
-David
| Posted on 2006-09-29 00:00:00 | by dvd7936 | [ Reply to This ]
  This is f.uckin' sad dude. Really. Every time I see a beggar some part of me inside dies silently.... just because it's so wrong: the inequality of this world... where there are rich people who can own a stable of exotic sportscars... yet there are people living day to day on the street appreciative of a dollar so they can feed themselves for that day.

What you show here are two things: one is the uncaring attitude of a man too caught up with himself to care about anyone else. He just has to get to work; he doesn't stop to think about these humans as much more than subhumans.... while you on the other hand, think about these people, and out of the kindness of your heart, give them more money.

I wish there were more people like you. I try and give money too... just because I know they need it far more than I ever will.

Thoughtful piece Steve.
Peace,

Jase
| Posted on 2006-08-16 00:00:00 | by alteredlife | [ Reply to This ]
  This is a lovely poem. It's the kind of poem that gives me that warm and fuzzy feeling inside. The world is such a busy and demanding place, often a cold one, and it's nice when things like this happen. It's nice when I can be someone to make a difference too, as I try to do that as often as I can, even if it's merely making my patient smile or laugh. When it comes to charity, I try as best I can to give when I can too. It really makes you feel good when you know you have made a difference to someone, no matter how small. And it's wonderful when I hear of others who have gone above and beyond to help someone in need. You are so right, there are good people out there. People who help and people worth helping indeed! Your poems are inspiring and touching to read and I always enjoy them. This is another lovely write. I can tell you have a big heart and that is admirable. Nice work. No critique, just a compliment!

Lorna
| Posted on 2006-08-16 00:00:00 | by lmz | [ Reply to This ]
  I think this is a really nice sentiment. Is this guy you maybe? Anyway, I thought it was a bit choppy but I'm really way to hung up on sylable count. (Also my spelling is atrocious, you'd think I'd get over it...) I really love the last verse though. "People that help, people worth helping." those lines are really easy to say, they roll off the toungue, and really end the piece in a nice place: that there's heart to be found in the most obscure places. Who knew?

Thanks for sharing.
Az
| Posted on 2006-08-16 00:00:00 | by Azurekat | [ Reply to This ]
  Hey Steve,

I found this piece to be absolutely beautiful. I found this to be an honest observation worth an applaude.

There are so many people out there who will do anything for just a little bit of money such as something has been accidentally dropped and others running after it grabbing every opportunity they have. There are however, people who do notice that you have dropped something accidentally and who do themselves the honor to give it back to you. You give something, you get something back.

There are so many things out in the world that it is hard to distinguish between the good and the bad but once in a while something good does come out. Just as long as it's the right thing to do, it feels good in the end and there are no regrets.

Anyhow, in terms of your work itself, i thought it was so touching that i didn't even notice anything that i wanted to be changed...Maybe the title. Somehow, i didn't feel much connection with the title and the piece. Maybe try being more specific with the title instead of being general. The title you got right now feels like the topic can be about anything when really it needs to be about a specific topic.

That's all.
Hope i didn't bore you...lol.
Anyhow, take care....
~Irina
| Posted on 2006-08-16 00:00:00 | by charmedidentity | [ Reply to This ]
  Such a heartful piece. It's a shame when children are forced to be so responsible at such young ages. Their childhood gets washed away, and it is something they will never get back.

I have read a few of your pieces and you always write in a way that captivates a person. You show such tenderness and caring. (from what I've read)

This piece was very impacting. Such an honest child....simply doing what he knew was right....and in the end.....he ended up with more riches then he would have if he just walked away with the penny.

The story goes much deeper then you wrote it on....

Anybody that lives an honest life, will receive something. As long as they keep the faith and know that they are living their life to the fullest.

Of course I have nothing to critique on the way you wrote this. You always do a splendid job on the gramatical part.

Much love,

Li Li
| Posted on 2006-08-31 00:00:00 | by Munchie_1226 | [ Reply to This ]
  i like how your title is a double edged sword here steve...

this piece holds great significance in my world.
the places ive been and the things ive seen over these last 10 months have been truely life changing...
in my country we are few of number and so we are able to make sure that for the most part there arent any homeless. i think there are only 3 people in my town who are known for going through rubbish bins and all and thats mostly their own choice for they spend all their money on alcohol and whatever... i never knew the poverty of the world and i felt while i have been travelling that poverty has infact been mocking me,... it really has.

when i was in ethiopia i knew there would be poverty there... it was on a bigger scale than i was prepared for but i knew it would be there. and it was so hard for me coz i wanted to help every single beggar i saw but when your walking down the street and theres a whole long line of women sitting there with their children you quickly realise you cant help everyone...
and its interesting the line in here about beggars being insignificant in value coz there is one lady who will ALWAYS remain in my heart and mind for as long as i live... i walked past her every day atleast 3 times going to school or wherever and she would always be sitting there and we would smile at each other then we would stop and exchange hellos and then it got to the point she would run and hug me every time she saw me... i never learnt her story as my amharic was very basic and she had no english but i could see it in her eyes and it broke my heart... she was THE most beautiful woman i have EVER met...

then there were the children...
theyd come up to you and tell you they had no parents but that was coz you were white and might give them something... but then there were the kids who actually needed help.... i had one girl in tears coz i couldnt take her home with me and it broke my heart... walking away from ehr was one of the hardest things ive ever had to do in my life... man...
sure... i bought her enough food for 3 or 4 days but it didnt seem enough to me... it was so awful and i was so angry at everything for days after that one...

i dunno... this isnt really a comment but more a showing of my appreciation of your piece and my understanding of it too...

im glad it ended like it did...
everyone is entitled to become a better person.
| Posted on 2006-08-21 00:00:00 | by Someones Epiphany | [ Reply to This ]
  Steve,

It has been awhile since I have had time to sit and read a good write. I chanced upon this today and was reminded of a story that I had heard while in my church days.
There seems to be a lesson in this write that is hard to ignore yet seems to be forgotten by many.
We rush through our lives thinking of the task at hand and we forget to stop and look around. Sometimes something so small and unimportant happens to us and like a slap in the face we are awakened by it.

I am having a hard time remembering the name of the story that comes to mind but I think I shall send it to you when I find it.

As always your write has shown the reader a little bit of what is missing in this world of hussle and bussle. (Trust and Humility)
Let us not fotget the little people who can teach us to be humble

I would change nothing in this write.

Great write

Respect and Admiration

Clyde
| Posted on 2006-08-17 00:00:00 | by Wisdom Seeker | [ Reply to This ]
  I suppose it takes a poet to truly capture all the sadness that sad be found in the world, and then fit hope so cleverly between the lines. You make this poem seem so sad, but it actually ends on an extremely positive note. Honestll well done, thanks for the read.
PEACE.
| Posted on 2006-08-17 00:00:00 | by ConScribe | [ Reply to This ]
  I suppose it takes a poet to truly capture all the sadness that sad be found in the world, and then fit hope so cleverly between the lines. You make this poem seem so sad, but it actually ends on an extremely positive note. Honestll well done, thanks for the read.
PEACE.
| Posted on 2006-08-17 00:00:00 | by ConScribe | [ Reply to This ]
  I wouldn't change a thing in this wonderful touching poem Steve,I love it when a poet show's there soul and that just what you did in this piece,at the same time guiding others to speak with there soul as while and help those who need a helping hand once in a while.
Once again a very powerful poem Steve keep up the wonderful works
adnil
| Posted on 2006-08-18 00:00:00 | by adnil | [ Reply to This ]


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