I took a train
out of Boston South Station
at 9:30 pm
I got there an hour early
because the restaurant I was in had closed
it was sunday and it was snowing.
I entered the station and the only place to sit
was at a long table
inhabited by an old homeless man
sleeping, slumped on his chair.
on the other side
sat a young man – college aged
eating pizza from a box.
I sat closer to him.
Another person came to the table
carrying their home on their back
and pulled out a coloring book
and bags of colored pencils
I could tell this person too
was seeking refuge
sheltered train station.
sat and colored
from one of those mindfulness coloring books
I thought it was beautiful how their art
kept them occupied from the cold.
A cop came over to wake the sleeping man
“what’s the plan tonight, man?”
the man shook his head
“It’s cold out there. You might want to start thinking of a plan. You can’t sleep in here all night.”
the man nodded.
“you can stay in here a couple more hours but don’t fall back asleep. We can’t have you sprawled out here like that. There’s a kid behind you doing homework for god’s sake”.
at this point, I smiled
the cop had mistaken this homeless person, clearly adult
for just a kid doing homework
just from the way they colored.
the cop walked away
the old man fell back asleep
and the woman just kept on