When I first saw him
Standing on a street corner
He was wearing a sign around his neck
It was simple, white heavy stock paper
Written on with black magic marker.
I never got close enough to read the sign.
I walked passed on the other side of the road
Careful to avoid an uncomfortable glance.
Yesterday I saw a student in the library
He wore a sign around his neck,
The writing facing his clean pressed shirt;
A social experiment
To see how long people would hold
His gaze before reading the sign on his chest.
I observed this for an hour
And wondered at the awkwardness
Before I took my turn and stared into his eyes
For a solid minute, I thought about the man
On the street corner who I see every day
But have never looked at.
I reached out and turned the sign on the student's chest
“I’m Human,” is all that it said.
Copyright © James Andersen | Year Posted 2017