[photo taken by someone in my family on vacation in Manila]
She stares stolidly straight ahead
not daring to catch the eye
of those in vehicles passing by
lest they see her desperation
and the gnawing envy within her
of the weak, weary and hopeless
for the strong and opulent.
All the light of life within her
has gone, but still she holds precious
the small life she carries in her arms
to brave the shame struggling in her
to stand with hand curled tight
a silent plea for anyone to drop some coins-
crumbs to ease hunger just for the day.