she sat on a dirty park bench,
her hair in disarray.
she wasn't sober.
i expected her this way.
it was morning.
she wore no jacket.
i saw the ugly track marks,
on both of her arms.
snowflakes fell on her hair.
she looked like she was inside,
one of those glass balls.
the kind i used to shake...
at happy, winter, chritmas times.
her eyes brimmed with tears of hopelessness.
she was abandoned by her family,
as a result of her hopeless addictions.
her broken promises,
her failure as a daughter,
her failure as a wife,
and as a mother,
framed this face of desolation.
nora, was her name.
she was thirty-nine years old.
i wanted to take her under my wing.
i knew her from years past.
she was so young, beautiful and full of life.
she wanted no part of me.
she hissed at me, like a frightened cat.
i knew it was too late.
the world had its' way with her.
she was beyond redemption.
she stumbled off in wet, dilapidated shoes.
she shakily lit a cigarette.
she looked feeble, old and tired.
she hobbled like an elderly woman.
i put my hand on her shoulder.
she pulled away, and gave me a look of disgust.
"what's the matter with you?", i said.
i offered to buy her a cup of coffee.
"maybe i can take you somewhere...you can get warm?"
she looked at me as if i were a crazy man.
i feared what she might say.
so i walked away.
i left her stumbling through the snowflakes.
she traveled through the dark, chicago, winter morning.
i watched as she walked down an alleyway.
garbage was being thrown out, by dishwashers in white jackets.
restaurants were opening steel alley grates.
old and fetid food was being thrown in dumpsters.
none of the kitchen help, paid her any mind.
years ago, they would have been whistling at her.
she tottered away, crazily.
she disappeared into wisps of smoke,
fog, and kitchen steam.
she was a phantom now.
she was a memory of my past.
who was abandoned by her family,