I met his eyes as he crossed the parking lot tonight
An automatic smile that I always do, without thinking
I turned back to strapping my kids into the big minivan
He stopped from where he was heading
And I thought, Uh-oh.
"This is a church, right?" he asked.
I admitted it was,
Anticipating a request would follow.
"I sleep over there," he said, indicating back against our building.
"The mosquitos aren't so bad back there. But over there --
Whoo! They're bad."
Well, I said feebly, You take care, tonight.
"Oh, I do," he said. "Sometimes I come
And sleep there on the carpet under your entryway. But
Lately there's been people coming by.
"I knew this was a church
So I knew I'd be okay here."
"I don't mess with anything. I just sleep.
I keep my blanket over there, but now it's gone.
Do you know what might of happened to it?"
I admitted I didn't. I asked him his name.
He gave it and we gave him ours.
I put my hand out and we shook.
He looked at our children, clean,
Strapped into their carseats.
"I've got a bunch, too,
5 boys and 2 girls.
That's why I'm homeless," he laughed.
He headed back to his bushes
We started to get into the minivan
Wait, take this, I called to him,
Handing him the bottle of Off! we had
in the front seat.
His grin was wide
His eyes full.
When I got into the car
I looked down at the button I'd picked up
On the way out of church.
We Are All Family.
We All Have Value.