Early Saturday

San Francisco tenderloin
against a fence stretched out
across the sidewalk
not yet awake
and dark, their clothes,
their bodies, their coats
dark with grime, engrained
dark creases on their faces
pressed to cardboard
utterly discarded, dispossessed
the humblest of our nation
not yet awake
sharing sleep with the shadows
and shining plate glass
with the shoes of passersby
they ask of us no questions
make no demands
they keep on living
like the rest of us
just for this little while

by Cathleen Williams