Who Can Hear You

‘Think before you speak’

On a pavement Cafe at the end of the street, two smart men took themselves a seat.

Tristan, he bragged about his car, ‘£48000 look at it gleam, Mercedes coup’e a Successful man’s dream.’

Harry said ‘I worked hard taking overtime when I could. No room for a holiday or even a siesta.’ His £17000 spent on a pepper red fiesta.

They argued together, the for and against,
compared fuel consumption the weaknesses and strengths.

Now, Mary, she sat on the ground by the door

listened to them both open mouthed … in awe.

She sat head bowed by a note that said ‘park’ To remind her to get in her box before dark.

Her mac was large came down to her feet, an excellent choice, when you lived on the street.

for underneath, was all she possesses, two pairs of gloves and four threadbare dresses.

She didn’t speak nor look in their eyes when they lit cigars and binned crusts from their pies.

Silently she sat as they said their goodbyes. Missing the quiver of her lip and the tears in her eyes.

They dropped her a pound and crossed to their cars. She could have been an alien living on Mars.

A lightbulb moment!

Let me know what you think. Would you, in your excitement of the moment have stopped and looked at Mary? I’d like to think I would have taken my discussion inside, thought about how she would feel; overhearing.

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49 thoughts on “Who Can Hear You

  1. In a perfect world they should have gone inside, but do we live in one ? That’s the burning question……maybe we are all living our Karma……and the only way to improve is to be to constantly improve ourselves, no one can do that for us…..only we can..

  2. I feel this income divide is only growing with every passing year. The cost of living is going up and many people find it hard to sustain themselves. On the other hand, people find new ways to splurge money.

  3. We have a lot of beggars on the streets in South Africa, Ellen. It breaks my heart and I have tins of food in my car which I give out to various street people regularly. I find it amazing how to many people the beggars are invisible. I have written a number of poems about this. Lovely post.

    1. We can’t change their plight, it is something politicians should endeavour to do. But a smile or a few words could give them courage and faith that at least someone cares. I am pleased you like it.

  4. I still remember the first time I bought a sandwich, a bottle of water, and a orange for my son to give to the homeless guy outside the grocery store(help those who need it, if you can). The guy wouldn’t take it. He though my son was giving away his own lunch and despite being on the street wouldn’t take food from a child. Still makes me flipping cry.

  5. I knew of lot of these bragging ass****s, size and cost matters, and it’s not just cars. Your poem is so very true.
    It’s not until you lose your comforts in life that you appreciate what you had, and what some others can actually only dream of.

    1. They are allowed to be pleased with what they worked to buy. But think about the people around us, have regard of who hears. Thank you for coming to read😊

  6. This was such a lovely read and it presented two different perspectives and livelihoods so well. As the first comment said, this post does make you think. I would have liked to hear Mary’s thoughts, and then the thoughts of the guys once again as they walked away. Some of us do live life comfortable, some of us do it rough and you portrayed that very well 🙂

  7. I am definitely guilty of thoughtless public speaking. I once read that we must be accountable not just for what we intend to do, but the unintentional consequences as well. I don’t think this means we should blame ourselves and crawl into a dark hole of self-recrimination every time we make a mistake. But, I think it does mean becoming more aware of our surroundings and owning the fallout ( in this case, Mary’s tears) when we screw up. I’d like to think that if these guys had enough knowledge of what was passing to flip her a coin, they could-once they saw her tears- have the awareness to offer her a kind word and treat her like a human being as well. Something as simple as acknowledging her, shaking her hand, asking her name. Maybe something as simple as showing an interest in her would make them more aware that casual, harmless conversation sometimes isn’t. Thought provoking post! Thank you.

    1. When we are excited about something we rattle on excitedly as these men did, (they earned their money and are entitled to spend it) but taking a look around being aware of who can overhear you would save a situation that is painful to others.
      We are all guilty of not being mindful.

      1. That would imply a slight unease on their part that I’m not sure the wealthy feel. As you say, they earned their money. The poor sod with her plastic bags hasn’t earned anything so she only has herself to blame is their justification for not feeling bad about their good fortune. I think you’re more generous about people than I am 🙂

    1. Sorry i just found you lurking in my spam😕 or I would have replied sooner. It is sad they deserve to be excited but being mindful of others is a better thing to be. 😇

  8. Ellen, I find it intimidating to look at homeless people. I am a little afraid of them and I feel very uncomfortable with the riches of my life compared to theirs. I try to remember to find the face of the Christ in everyone but it isn’t easy. Your post is a good reminder.

    1. We get scared because we don’t know how to help so try to shut our eyes to it which is understandable but not good for them or us. It is very honest of you to say it. But if it just makes one person stop for a moment and consider…

      1. That is exactly what your words made me do and that is why I wrote about your post in my 52 Weeks of Thankfulness. I am very thankful that you made me stop and think.

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