He is shuffling slowly
Back bent leaning against the wall
I’m in a hurry
Places to go

As I walk by
He calls out
Asks for help
Fear in his old eyes

He wont be able to make it
To his car without help
Broke his back recently
Osteoporosis he explains

He takes my arm and I take his shopping bag
We shuffle along
Taking rests every ten metres or so
Our journey takes fifteen minutes
To go a distance I would
Unthinkingly cover in less than two

He is shaking from pain
It only hurts when I stand up
He says

I wonder how long it took him to
Shuffle this distance by himself
And up and down the supermarket aisles
For his few supplies

I ask if he has someone who
Can do his shopping for him
He says he does
And frustration flashes across
His face

Inside I can see see
The strong man
Straight backed and hard working
Who could out walk me any day of the week

I imagine him
Getting up this morning
Thinking
Not even a broken back
Will keep me down
I’ve got places to go

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