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Tuesday, June 25, 2013
An hour downtown, observing: this is Roanoke.
On one side of the rain-soaked street, a man in old clothes stooped to pick half-smoked cigarettes from a stone receptacle. On the other side, well-dressed people dined on overpriced food in air-conditioned briskness, their trendy shopping bags at their feet.
A few blocks over, the rain began to fall again, and I ducked under an overhang, an empty building in the midst of renovation, no certain future in its dirty windows.
A man approached me, “Excuse me ma’am; I’m not homeless or anything, but can you help me to get something to eat?” I had no cash on me, so I gave my regrets.
Walking through the dwindling vendors on the farmers market, I watched a man dump a half bushel of tomatoes into a city garbage can. We made eye contact, and I walked away.
If only I’d said something to him about the hungry man, if only I’d asked for a few tomatoes, run back down the road to find the one for whom I’d had nothing. If only the farmers could/would leave leftover produce in boxes on the benches.
Would it make a difference?
Weather JournalEarly mix, then ice storm Sunday