Chris Gagne

Soot
In my seventeenth year,
I gave an apple to the man
wandering without aim through the park.
I was blessed by another
in a wheelchair I thought was stolen.
His four dark fingers that clutched my five
were blackened by the wintry night.


Years later, I learned there's depth
in every hole
of every coat and shoe,
and each frostbitten finger
is blackened not with cold
but with the soot of indifference.