Pray for the People in Camden

With pale blue eyes and cropped red hair,
She is a fixture in these parts.
72 pounds and no way to gain,
Heavy blankets of despair
Drape over her frail body,
Swallowing her,
She has no hope.

Her name is Mary,
But so few know.
They don’t care.
Her pain.
Never realizing,
They are practically the same,
Lost in their own struggles
Amongst several others
In this big city.

The sun begins to set,
But she has nowhere to go.
So many directions,
But none seem right.
A cool breeze,
The leaves change.
Most would be happy; fall is here.
But to her,
This only means
Winter is ahead.
Cold brisk wind
Sends a chill.
All alone.

A woman in her forties,
With a blanket over her shoulders
And a tear in her eye
Because
There is only so much
Warmth
That she can get from her pockets,
And there is only so much
A plastic bag can hold.

A man in his fifties,
With a cross around his neck
And an extra dollar in his pocket,
His chin held high.
A proud smile
That hides his secrets
And his shame.

Two worlds collide,
Never to be the same again.
He hands her a five-dollar bill
With a card on top.
It’s the size of her palm,
A little crumpled in the corner,
A tear at the top,
With a few unforgettable lines:
A prayer

Ali Binder is a 10th-grade student at Haverford High School. She is in the school orchestra and loves being a part of the color guard with the competition marching band. She is passionate about service and is an active member at her church. This is her first piece to be published.