He stands on the corner holding a sign;
the words are not important.
Pale eyes find me through his own reflection
in the drawbridge of my window
that I refuse to lower,
keeping a moat of air between us.
His gaze has grasped my face
the same way his hands are grasping
the thin shield of cardboard,
and I cannot turn away.
Somehow I know he does not expect the money
I have long ago chosen to withhold from him—
he seeks only acknowledgement,
a slight dip of my jutting chin,
and I give it to him, reluctantly,
and he smiles in gracious victory
as the light changes and my vehicle rolls forward
slow as a wooden wagon.