Daily Prompt: Stranger – Kid

Have you ever had a random encounter or fleeting moment with a stranger that stuck with you?

The week before Thanksgiving there was a kid sitting on the curb leading out of the parking lot. The same curb  a couple stood in the summer standing in the hot sun, he with a small child on his shoulders, she held the sign. Cars pass by with groceries. I didn’t have anything to give them and irritated that they would use their little girl like that.

So here’s this kid, late teens I think, sitting with his stuff around him reading a book and as I pass after a long cold day at work he opens a cardboard sign without looking up. Being homeless is no fun, it says.

I see him outside the store all the next week camped out on the curb, reading. He comes inside in the afternoon to use the restroom and get our little cup of coffee and whatever they are serving as a sample from the Demo station. It’s cold. I think of him at night.



I don’t want to think about you kid

You’re nobody to me.

I don’t want to wonder where

You’re sleeping tonight.

It’s going to be below thirty tonight.

My horses have blankets

Do you?

Where is your mother?

I didn’t want to give you my gas money but

There it was in my pocket and there’s nowhere

To go until Thanksgiving.

When I drove away I wished

I would have wrapped a sandwich in paper towels

For you along with the cookies.

I don’t want to think of you kid

So much like my mom sitting on the curb.

I don’t want to think about her


Someone gave her cookies and cigarettes

And bus fare to get back home to us.

I don’t want to think about you kid

You’re nobody to me.

Where is your mother?


I know several of us were sharing our lunch and gas money with him. We were closed Thanksgiving. I didn’t see him after that.


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6 Responses to Daily Prompt: Stranger – Kid

  1. Rita Kay says:

    Pam this broke my heart, but I’m so glad you shared it.

  2. That’s kind of a heart wrenching tale. I have had lots of memorable stranger encounters this week out in West. The Mom Person says these experiences make her come home and appreciate all the little things in her life that she tends to take for granted. Like how courageous the human heart can be. I hope that boy found a place with a dog to hug.

  3. pamtanzey says:

    I agree with your Mom Rhythm and I hope he found a place with a dog to hug too.

  4. This is really sad, Pam. You were kind to help him as much as you did. Hopefully, others have helped as he moved on.

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