The Gift

Homeless men gather in a small knot by the Sprucewood library

Sharing cigarettes and some baked goods from a clear, plastic container

It is an iconic scene.

The group breaks up slowly

Hesitant and with resignation

Leaving cigarettes embedded in the cracks in the sidewalk.

The last one to leave, stoops down

and puts a clear, plastic container on the ground, in a bed of weeds

filling it with water from his bottle

” It’s for the birds” he says.

Days later, I walk by and see a sparrow


Drinking this small gift of kindness.