What She Sees

I see a man in his fifties sitting on someone else’s doorstep. His white shirt is grimy and he is just sitting, staring at the sidewalk.
And coming down the street is a three year old girl, black curls bouncing as she runs, her granny’s sari billowing in the wind. She looks at the man and her face radiates delight.

She does not see the grimy shirt, or his weary eyes. She does not know he’s sitting on someone else’s doorstep.

He turns to see her and – unable to help himself – he smiles. His fingers lift in the smallest of waves.

She laughs out loud with the joy of being seen, of being talked to, and his smile grows and grows.

The little girl and the man gaze at each other for a moment. The granny waits in patient silence. And then they move down the sidewalk until they are dots in the distance.

The man is still smiling.

Photo Eduardo Gomez