Excerpt from verse novel WIP

The lady takes my arm.
“He’s nuts, honey. I wouldn’t go near him
if I were you.”
I shake her off like an old cloak.
The man rocks,
arms around his knees.
I wonder if it was Iraq or Afghanistan —
Too young for Vietnam
except for his eyes —
the window to the soul
so they say.
I sit beside him.
My arms sneak out
timidly and rest
on his slumped shoulders.
“It wasn’t your fault,” I say.
He looks at me.
Tears leak down his cheek.
“I know you’re hungry,” I say.
I hand him my bag.
“They’re only peanut butter.”
For a brief flash, there is distrust,
but then, Thank you,
wordlessly offered.
I can never fill his hunger.


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