detail of ceramic urn, 20″ d


In the deep winter-spring freeze I saw her standing there.

On my way to Starbucks I was bundled tightly with Emma warming in the heat near my stomach.

We were zooming fast to avoid the weather when I saw a waifish beauty

Wringing wet with past rain and curled in on herself.

I recognized her because we have passed one another over the years;

I would say: “Hi.”


That is all.

Except yesterday in the early morning on the plaza as I sat with Emma on my lap

With my fancy coffee

Just perusing

And appreciating

How the city wakes up

She walked up to me.

Shyly and with head down

She said: “You bought me lunch in the winter when I was so cold and sad. I wanted to say thank you.”

“Please sit down” I say.

“I am half homeless. I live with my husband in a tiny trailer parked on some land. It’s ok. A roof….
He was taken to Albuquerque last night because he was having seizures. I can’t visit ’cause I have no car. I am sad.”

Slow huge tears.

I reach for her knee to give solace.

I expect her hand to cover mine but it stays put.

Her nails are dirty.

I feel her so deeply.

She can’t get to her man.

“My name is Laurie.”

“Cathy” I say.

“You are so nice to listen to me.”

I say: every time I see you I feel good. I think you have a very fine heart.”

“I feel the same about you” she says to me.

“Don’t forget you are not alone” was all I could offer as she wandered weakly off.

I wanted to mend her.

I bent my head down and gave love to Emma.

It was church on Tuesday.



4 Responses to “Laurie”

  1. Alexis on June 4th, 2016

    You do know how to connect. What a beautiful and powerful experience.

  2. Paul on June 4th, 2016

    Very touching. It’s sad that so many respponsible, caring people can’t make it in our society for whatever reasons. The number of homeless people in the U.S. is astonishing. A few are mentally incompetent, but many were just hammered by a stroke of bad luck. Good for you, Cathy, connecting with Laurie in this way. Everyone needs love and support, especially the poor and disheartened.

  3. Alexandra Eldridge on June 5th, 2016

    How can you touch my heart over and over. Thank you. xxA

  4. Maureen on June 5th, 2016

    Deep respect. And much love from someone who knows you just a very little, by reading your words.

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