The Silent Giver
By Clover Jernesy
It was a cold, frosty, early morning in December. She rose from her makeshift bed of card board boxes, plastic bags and dirty blankets she had managed to scrounge from those who left them behind in dark and dampened alleys. She pulled the layer of coats tightly around her frail body, as the wind chill cut through to her bones.
She meticulously folded each blanket in military style and fitted them neatly into the plastic bags, sliding them in-between the refolded card-board boxes and placed in her shopping cart. She took from her cart a jar containing toothpaste and brush; stood behind the dumpster which doubled as her own private bathroom where she defecated and peed. She brushed her teeth, and with the bottle of water she somehow kept from freezing rinsed out her mouth and with one of her dirty face cloths washed under her, arms between her legs and buttocks and with the other washed her face and wiped down her stringy hair placing it in a ponytail and puts on her soiled yellow scarf.
The noise of the traffic and people rushing each morning hurled Medley to a new reality that was much different from the night she just travelled through; the dark, cold, lonely and unsafe quiet. Here on the streets of daylight she was part of life, the tangible and intangible components that define living.
Making her way down the sidewalk with her companion cart; Medley is met with insults, looks of disgust and confusion, yet Medley smiles without an inkling of thought, always saying excuse, or pardon me. She finely makes it to her final corner; where another block and a half down is the mission, where Medley gets her daily meals.
She sees a Salvation Santa Clause standing, ringing his bell and waiting for those dressed in suits, carrying briefcases, stepping out of new and shiny cars, wearing designer labels to drop a little of what they have been blessed with into the pale. Medley memories flashed back to seeing the bright colorful lights of Christmas, the smell of pine and the tall decorated tree; that always had its special place in the home she once knew.
Medley continued towards the Salvation Santa, she dug deep into her worn, dirty pockets and found one quarter, two dimes and three pennies dropped them into the pale, looked up at the man dressed in the Santa Suit ringing the bell and said “Merry Christmas.”
Medley walked with her companion cart to the mission for her daily meal.