On the Floor

Written by: ilene bauer

I witnessed on the subway
What I’ve never seen before – 
A woman tumbled from her seat
Onto the dirty floor.

It seemed that she was sleeping
And, as we all sat and stared,
We wondered who would intervene,
But not one person dared…

Until a brave soul leaned on down
And shook the sleeper’s arm.
She boldly shouted, “Get on up!”
A human-train alarm.

The sleeping lady gave a moan
And uttered, “I’m all right.” 
Perhaps she thought she was at home
And tucked in for the night.

The kindly soul persisted,
Saying, “Get back in your seat!
You’re stretched out on the filthy floor,
Surrounded by our feet!”

At this, the sleeper’s eyes went wide;
She let go with a curse.
The Good Samaritan backed off,
Afraid of something worse.

The passengers all held their breaths;
The train stopped at the station.
The sleeper slowly rose and made
A seat her destination.

She promptly fell asleep again.
Who knows what wiped her out?
But watching this, I understood
What life is all about:

When people struggle, some will help
But most won’t interfere,
‘Cause sometimes the recipients
Would rather you stay clear.