Undercover Identity


There is a man in need of change and food and clothes and shelter

He asked me could he pump my gas for 2 petty silver quarters

I look around and see them watching me interact with him

They turn their nose up, roll their eyes embarrassed like it’s them

I want to give this man a hug, a handshake and a smile

Offer him a ride down the street to the shelter that’s a mile away

Then at least there he’ll have some food and plus a place to stay

He doesn’t have to pump my gas I’ll give him money anyways

I stand stoned face looking tough like I’m busy and un-phased

This man you see is used to rejection so he walks away

The people watching seem to think I made the right decision

I want to blend so I pretend to be uncaring with them

I walk past the man into the station to place ten dollars on pump three

I made the right decision right? Everyone else agrees

But why am I questioning my actions internally

Probably because the decision I made really wasn’t for me

It seems to be hip to be so selfish and self-centered

Why go against the grain and be viewed as a do-gooder

Then everyone will think I’m soft and bullies will come after

I live in a tough neighborhood; I don’t want that to happen

But would I rather live a lie or help someone in need

I don’t think it’s a bad thing to show sensitivity

Compassion and empathy and sincerity and love

Graciousness and an appetite for knowledge and the world

I walk out the station and see the man sleeping on the ground

I look to see who’s watching me and no one is around

I place a five dollar bill right beneath his cheek

I walk back to my car looking tough hoping to deceive

Anyone who might have saw the face behind the mask

Maybe one day I’ll be brave enough not to even ponder

Until then I’ll keep my mask, hopefully I won’t be bothered


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