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Ellen Gray

Honorable Mention 2010 Utmost Christian Poetry Contest $100

About this Christian Poet:
I am a wife, mother and teacher in Pleasanton, California. I am grateful poetry has been a part of my redemption. Reading and writing poetry helps me cling to faith.

About this Poem:
“The Widow” is based on an experience I had when on a trip to New York City.

The Widow

When I walk in
the Battery Park restroom
I see her at the sink

water dribbles out begrudgingly
from the rusted faucet
with her left hand
she is trying to make a small bowl
to bathe away the dirt
from her face, her neck, her arms

I smell the odor of sorrow
the grime of the street
the soot of her memories

she startles, and suddenly stills
now aware of me
she lowers her eyes to the dirty floor
hoping I won’t see her shame

I hesitate,
wanting to I scrounge
around in my bag
for some words,
something to offer her,
so she would know
she is clean

but I am too poor
walking the city streets
without two coins
of kindness to my name.

Copyright ©2010 by Ellen Gray