Coffee Shop

July 15, 2008
By Hannah Perkins, Lincoln, MA

Jean bumped into the woman with the straw hat sitting on the sidewalk. She bent down to pick up the woman’s cup of change she had knocked over, muttering a quick sorry as she handed it to the disgruntled woman. She seemed mad at first, but then Jean saw the sorrow in her eyes and invited the woman to come to a coffee shop with her.

As Jean and the woman talked, Jean wanted to know why she sat in the same place every day, for Jean saw her there often. “Why don’t you go to a homeless shelter? I know a great one if you want a new beginning.” After explaining that she would be happier in a shelter than sitting out on the street corner day after day, Jean wrote the address on a piece of paper, said she had better get home, and left.

Jean thought about the woman all night, and looked for her on her way to work the next day, but when she passed the usual street corner, all she saw were a few pigeons poking at a straw hat.

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