I was in the yard early, eyeing the one-eyed cat I call Mike, while watching for black Tzusu of the green eyes who winds around my legs. She’s in a hurry for food, but slows me as I mince around her small, muscular body. She doesn’t like Mike, his sweet face partly caved on one side…she hisses & holds her place. She eats no food, leaping the concrete fence to stalk away. Mike settles in to chow.

I hear a small noise, looking to the alley – is my neighbor out already? But no, he is not dumping trash, but a Hispanic couple roots for cans, tying & untying stinking bags. Dressed in ragged coats, in ill-made shoes, pulling a tiny cart lined in oily black plastic. They are hidden in their own world. Only the cart stands sentinel, hoping cargo.

I fill the bird feeder tubes, I think hard about all my living of life for I have no insight into theirs. They are of an age where grandchildren should be bouncing at feet resting on a hassock. They should be smiling, holding bowls of cherries, laughing about how they used to contest the length of spitting pits.

I come in the house to my tall desk, pulling out a wallet, removing two fives. I fold them & make my way to where they are, still in my bathrobe & slapping flipflops. I hold the money out to the man who takes it with no smile, but a murmured thank you, before bending back over the trash to help his wife.

I notice in deep sorrow he has one working eye.