“Asking” // Positively Speaking // Mark Wilson

handWe are blessed to be a blessing.  Gratitude should always lead to generosity.  I’ve invited my friend, Naomi Cochran to write a guest column this week.  Her poems are beautiful and capture deep meaning in very significant ways.  I hope you will enjoy what she has written as much as I did:

I don’t know how long he was standing there at the corner with his rumpled pile of bags and the cardboard sign–maybe at least a couple of hours…until he got what he needed, or someone asked him to leave.

The fact that the man was asking for money, and not just a ride, forced me to consider whether I should offer help.   The first time I drove past, I didn’t get a good look at his face.  Why should I trust him?

He was asking for a bus ticket in a town that doesn’t have bus service.  Did he know that?  Is that really what he wanted?

As I wandered through the store, passing the heaps of frozen turkeys and shelves full of stuffing mix and cranberries and pumpkin, I thought about how hard it’s become to simply trust someone, to give without hesitation, to respond with love rather than fear and skepticism.

He was still standing there as I left.  I didn’t see anyone else stopping.   Maybe I should have put my wallet where I could reach it.  I glanced his way just long enough to see the tired eyes of an older man….someone’s dad, someone’s grandpa….and then pretended not to notice.

I finished my other errands.  If I went back, would he still be there?  I sure hoped so.


a heap of heavy bundles
on the cold cement
he waits
with a cardboard sign

trying to get back home
need bus ticket

inside the store
I fill my cart with
what I need
and leaving, look
the other way

then turn around
what would it take
for me
to stand where he stands


Naomi Cochran is the author of Finding Ourselves in Alzheimer’s and can be contacted at naomicochran@outlook.com


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