Empty Tin Cups

An elderly woman holds out an empty tin cup
Inattentive passersby
A glimpse of a sad and true reality

Her weathered skin tells a life of toil under the sun
Her vacant eyes tell a story of a lifetime of hardship
Her pale complexion tells days of hunger and weariness

She sits on the ground of the littered street of Istanbul
My eyes drift to her amputated leg
A disabled young man sat next to her

I ponder the life this woman has lived
I ponder what she has seen
I ponder the sacrifices she has made

Has she lived a life of disability?
A life of famine?
A life of homelessness?

I spare the change in my pocket
It echoes as it drops in her tin cup
I feel helpless for not being able to ameliorate her pain

Our eyes meet and her look of sorrow forms to gratitude
Something so simple to me
Yet the world to her

An empty tin cup
It’s begging for more than just money
It’s shouting for more than just an act of kindness
It’s helplessly searching for a change in our hearts


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