N is (usually) for No. But Not Today.

N

 

 

 

 

 

 

No. I usually say no.

I don’t have any spare change

Or an extra dollar.

I work hard for my money

Or I’ve borrowed it

And will have to pay it back

In spades one daycasa que pasa

Working my ass off

Just to get by

And you want a handout?

I don’t think so.

But today?

Today, feeling flush

with unexpected cash in my pocket,

a gift from a friend,

I listen to your plea,

and look

Into your youthful brown eyes,

Where I see your shy smile

And when you ask

only that I buy you a burrito,

I say Of Course.

And ask “What kind?”

You looked surprised

And offer me your sweatshirt

But I don’t need a sweatshirt

Or even a thank you

I just need to buy you this

Burrito and a bottle of water because

How can you eat a potato burrito dry?

At the counter, I place your order

And tell the guy

It’s for a kid outside

As I hand him a twenty

You appear at my elbow

Holding out a flashlight

As an offering, an exchange

For my seeing you.

I just shake my head while

The clerk counts back my change.

And I press the remaining dollars

into your hand

before I leave.