A sun-browned back
Calloused fingers
Eyes stark against a lined face
Piercing, knowing, reading too much
Feet scabbed, soles layered in tough skin
Arms held steady by his side, one palm spread out
You finished ordering, kept up the firmness in your tone
Wondering what it was
What made you turn away
Break under that gaze
You gave him the crisp notes
Why didn’t you look at him?
He was ten
How could you feel belittled?
You gave him as much as he deserved.
You even gave him the leftover lunch.
I think he was thankful.

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