flash fiction · poetry · Writing

Hunger

From my seat on the bus,
I glance out of the window;
countless lives passing by
behind the scratched glass.

No-one sees me looking,
for a moment the world is still.
No countdown to my destination,
No movement to push me forward.

In that moment I merely watch,
but in that moment I truly see.
A man so frail he makes my knees shake for him,
and even as the sun is beating,
goosebumps push against his skin.

He shuffles around this hoard of people,
close enough to meld into the crowd,
just far enough away to miss the turning noses,
the mutters, the side-way glances, the purse clenching.

I watch this man watch the pavement,
No idea what he was looking for,
No idea if he was looking.

I watch this man stare,
such longing, such desire,
a packet crippled and trodden;
to him it was golden.

His knees trembled when he reaches for the ground,
cascade of silence erupts from the crowd,
as he pulls out the specs of food,
before licking the dust from his fingers.

In a flush of embarrassment he fakes it,
holding the packet like a babe he rises,
flushed barely pink through his cheeks,
he scurries.

He reaches a bin, a goldmine,
he stops, and he stares;
his whole body shaking in anticipation as he reaches,
praying for something inside that crushed treasure box.

But then the bus lurches forward,
The frail man lost in the wave of the crowd,
His story dissolved with him.

Left unfinished,
unwitnessed.

Helen x

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