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i’m sitting on the sidewalk
as a woman, huddled in a blanket,
a patterned do-rag on her head,
sobs on my shoulder.
i put my arm around her
and say, “it’s okay.”
knowing that nothing is okay,
it will never be okay.

i’m beyond my depth.
i don’t know what to do,
or what to say…
anything that comes to mind
is shallow and meaningless.
this woman’s experiences
are completely foreign to me.
what do I know —
about alcoholism?
about motorcycle gangs?
about sleeping on the streets?

all i can do is let her cry,
tell her that she has forgiveness,
that what saddens her,
what keeps her awake,
or gives her nightmares,
is all in the past.
it’s time to forgive herself
and love herself
and live
in the present moment.

she can’t go on.
she can’t stand the pain.
she can’t do this any more.
drink is the only thing
that numbs her mind;
enough to endure,
enough to pass out at night
and do it all over again
the next day.

i can only do
and say so much.
it’s always a pleasant surprise
to see her sitting on the sidewalk,
knowing that she’s made it
through another night;
that she hasn’t been taken
by violence, sickness
or the police.

i do what i can.

Read about my friends here  http://buff.ly/1wyjiKS