(A true encounter)

Twas Christmas week, the time we met,
When earth burst forth in joyful glee;
Bayberry scent embalmed the air,
And trinkets glittered on the tree.

I sat to rest my weary bones,
She slowly raised her drooping head;
I saw at once behind her smile -
She had no mattress for a bed.

She saw my penetrating glance,
I softly spoke - she lowered her eyes;
She kept her secrets locked within -
Sought comfort in her safe disguise.

Her wrinkled face was deathly grey,
Her tattered clothes were far too thin,
And at her feet a plastic bag,
Held all her deepest hopes within.

And even in this derelict state,
I saw she had a certain grace;
And knew she must have once been loved,
Her misery hid a regal face.

I offered her a helping hand,
She closed her weary eyes and slept;
I wandered faintly to the door,
And with a heavy heart, I wept.