From Across My Car’s Windowpane

I can’t help but appear aloof
when little waifs approach me
from across my car’s windowpane—
selling wares that I could do without,
most of them adorned in disheveled borrowed clothes,
some with a twinkle in their eyes, expectant
yet not entirely powerless to influence my decision
with their woeful glances,
they also test my patience
with constant knocking on the car’s windowpane
or with their pitiful elevator pitch.

In making them be—
I feel ashamed for someone else’s wickedness
I feel responsible for an incompetent system
I feel angry at my own inertia and apathy
I feel sorrow for their unfortunate destinies.

Yet I refuse to get involved
and continue to observe them
from across the refuge of my car’s windowpane.

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