WHAT YOU DON’T SEE

She sees
A bum
Squatting outside his tent, begging for money
Head bent low,
Eyes evasive,
Toothless grin, almost scornful of the people
Passing him by, without
Stopping or
Dropping any loose change into his
Filthy, faded baseball cap.
She frowns, disapproving
Disapproving of this destitute and his fellow homeless scums
Clogging up the streets,
Destroying the purity of Downtown, Vancouver
Dirtying the polished image of the abandoned building that
He is parked in front of,
Resolute,
Determined
To claim his territory.
She wrinkles her nose in disgust
At the stench of urine,
At his oily, germ-filled hair that hangs
Limply in greasy clumps down his
Grubby face,
Grimaces because
He reeks
Of stale whiskey and pot
A useless, worthless soul, undeserving of any
Respect,
Love.
How dare he smile at her?
She holds her head high,
Straightens herself,
And walks by swiftly without
Another glance.

he sees
a high class, well-dressed young woman
shining, sleek, silver-blond hair pulled back
into elegant bun
away from her flawless face, touched with the perfect amount
of expensive makeup
he manages a smile
despite a cold, hard day of panning
maybe she
will allow him to have dinner
tonight
her eyebrows shoot up at his grin
then settle back down to a small disapproving
frown, almost as if
she is shocked
shocked at his nerve to smile at her
almost as if she thinks
he is mocking her
just like the others
just like everyone else who passes him by
condemning him
inside, wishing they could just
throw him off these streets to live in the farthest, most desolate region of
this God-forsaken world
he sees the revulsion in her stare, and realizes how shabby his
graying, fraying overcoat must look
to her designer suit
suddenly she averts her gaze, straightens up her head so as to
downgrade him even more, and
stalks by
resolute
determined
to wipe the memory of his filthy face from her mind
his smile fades, his head sinks
back down to his tattered rags
once more

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terryman

Katrina Lo is in her 1st year at UBC and suffers her share of stress and sleep-deprivation. Unfortunately, the fact that the inspiration to create poetry/art usually comes to her very very late at night (or rather, very very very early in the morning) probably doesn`t help much either. As a result, there are too many slips of scrap paper with poetry scribbled on them strewn across her already too-messy room.

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