The other night I was working and an odd couple came into the store. Like to everyone else, I tried To be helpful. The man was young, just a boy really. He was very polite as he tried to tell me what he wanted. I noticed right away he was high… Meth. Probably been up for days. Unable to make coherent and intelligible sentences his companion finally took over and spoke for him. I looked at her. Subhaanallah! I’ve seen her before…years before. She was older than the boy…but nearly in the same state. I used to notice her when i first came here. I had thought that she was so beautiful. An Ojibwe princess of natural beauty. I one time wished she would of noticed me too. We never connected that way though… But Here she stood… Dirty.. Twitching.. Bones in her face showing, Nervous… Unsure of the simplest things the two were trying To do and buy. They payed with change they found in many of thier soiled clothes. My soul went out to them both. This was me I thought. Here I am. Sober. Working. Responsible. Healthy. Straight. But here before me, walking in the cold and darkness of night are two human souls stuck in the same prison I myself long ago was confined in. I smiled… I waited for thier words to form into something I could understand and i served them…then I whispered a prayer. “Be with them lord…Be with them as u were with me.”…then they left…I watched them out the window disappear back into the cold of winter and the darkness of wherever they came from… Addicts.. Yeah, These are my people… And each day i say no to that pipe and do what i have to do for myself and my family a sober man i stand as a testiment that no one regardless of how visibly hopless they seem out there is truely a loss cause. I was that boy in my store… My father could tell u that… He seen the worse of what I was.. but look at me now.

Published by Pack Redfeather

I am a walking contradiction of traditions some say. An African American and Native American Muslim poet with a personal life history as violently turbulent as a Storm. A visionary from the bottom of life’s social barrel striving to share the hope found in the light of faith through sometimes dark but real poetry. I’m a former member of the Bloods street gang, former serial bank robber, and both federal/state prison convict. I live on my mother’s tribal reservation of the Leech Lake band of Ojibwe in Minnesota.

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