Beautiful dusty brown locks
Carelessly covering her pale cheeks.
Careful not to look needy.
Needing help, just as it is.
She sat shivering, crouching in the subway.
In just her hoodie and a jeans long past worn.
Rubbing her hands for warmth
As her breath froze in the cold Monday morning air.
People all scurrying past; to get
To where they all needed to be.
Not calling for any attention,
this young girl just stood out to me.
I paused to help but in two minds.
What could I do for her anyway?
She just looked liked a typical runaway.
She wasn’t asking for help or anything.
It was -4 outside and she just sat there,
Without a warm coat; shivering.
I walked over involuntarily, said hi.
Stretching out my hand not knowing why..
She looked up puzzled, unsure how to react
As she feebly shook my hand trying to smile back.
Do you need a cuppa dear? It’s awfully cold today.
A cuppa would be nice but maybe some other day.
Then a cigarette maybe? She nodded.
“Here take some.”
I held out the packet, she pulled out only one.
I lit one for myself crouching beside her.
Her hands were shivering it was hard to click the lighter.
She blew out some smoke as the ice between us broke.
“I’m Phil” I said to her.
She seemed lost; just looking away.
You must be getting late sir.
Don’t you have to start your day?
Oh I can go a little later it’s fine by me.
Tell me really; a sandwich and coffee?
A coffee would be nice but not today.
Thanks for the smoke, I’ll be alright.
Don’t worry, I’ll survive another day.
There was nothing more I could do here.
I got up to go on my way.
I’m Maggie she said looking right at me;
Her face wearing a smile wry.
You take care Maggie. See you again? Will I?
She nodded very slowly and said almost in pain.
I’m always here Phil.
I’m always here alone; But you won’t see me again.
You’ll be running past me next time, like always;
Like everybody else, hurrying to catch the train.
© Jay Kaushal
Inspired by Maggie’s Story by Stephen Black.
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