on the corner

Today I wore striped tights. All the men in the projects I cut through had things to say about that.

All but this one. He was on the corner behind the drugstore with a pile of paper in his hand. He looked at his shoes. He looked at the sky. His face was ruddy and creased with time. As I got closer, he looked away and sang out softly, “Boycott Walgreen’s.” I stopped and asked what was going on. He handed me a sheet of paper. He whispered, always looking away, “They’re not fair.”

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