Fall 2017

Along the Way

Joey Schuman

 

Along the way,

you’ll come across a man who needs your help.

There he sits, unkempt, unclean, and unnoticed. He is thin. So thin, that his ribs can be seen through his tattered shirt, and the skin around his bony fingers wilts like a flower in the cold. He will reach those fingers out to you.

Along the way,

you’ll come across a man, slumped against a tree in the dead of winter, no coat around his shoulders and his bare feet buried in the snow for warmth. The tree’s icy bark peels and digs into his back. You may wonder about his family and his friends and his children and where they all could’ve gone. Was this man, now barely clinging to life, once along the way as you are now?

Along the way,

you’ll wonder many things about this man, but even as you wonder, you won’t stop walking. You won’t take the decrepit hand he reaches out to you. You’ll keep going, your boots crunching in the snow. For you’re along the way, and you don’t have time to stop. You’ll trudge right past, barely looking him in the eye.

Along the way,

you might find yourself to tired to walk any further, your boots are long gone, your coat has been lost, and your clothes have been reduced to rags. You’ll slump against a tree in the dead of winter, wondering about your family and your friends and your children and where they all went, and why this person walking by you won’t stop for a second, just a second, to even look you in the eye.

But then, someone else,

Along the way,

may pause for a second, just a second. You’ll reach your hand out to her, the skin around your fingers wilting like a flower in the cold. You reach your hand out to her in need,

and she might take it, because she knows,

you were along the way once, too.


css.php