The street is like on any other day
the usual homeless sitting
on the Macy's stairs
all her earthly belongings next to her
aroma of Starbuck's coffee and pastry
percolating over parked cars and sidewalks
shoppers already carrying their pregnant plastic bags
looking for a café to sit down and relax
their new loot under the table at their feet
like a faithful dog
euphoria of huge red signs On Sale
and Clearance
intoxicating their mind,

but "the stuff" they don't need
will join other unopened bags and boxes
in their cluttered but otherwise empty home
nobody there to greet them
they will watch television while eating
frozen dinners from plastic containers
if the awareness hits them
it will be just after they lay down
in their cold single bed.

Pasadena, March 2006
by Mira Mataric
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