The 5:23

Photo by Kits Pix

At 5:09, 14 minutes to train time
corner of 34th and 7th
a voice shouts
“One penny! One penny for the homeless!
Just one penny!”

From my suit pocket
I pull a dollar coin
Drop it into
his battered plastic jug
crowds pushing and streaming around us.

“Thank you, Beautiful!” the man calls, then
renews his cry, “One penny for the homeless!
Just one penny!”

I hurry into Penn Station
buy my bargain 50 cent Times
make the 5:23 with time to spare
and head home.

Gay Norton Edelman

After decades writing and editing psychology and spirituality articles for magazines, Gay Norton Edelman turned to poetry as a form of self-care, contemplation, and service. She also works as a writing coach and spiritual life coach, and is a longtime member of Shrewsbury (N.J.) Meeting.

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