They call it the 911 incident

on Cantonese cable news on the Jade

Channel, the 911 tragedy of the century,

the 911 event with olds

as shortened from over-

seas networks. And all this talk on CNN

about "the nation," about "our freedom"

at stake. What I'd like to know is how it affects the steak of the bearded

black man with a cap handing me The Street

Sheet at a bus stop. So I give him a buck or two and ask

for an ear's allowance.

So the giving's gotten a bit tougher,

Shelter funds cut, press gone cold,

stacked papers yellowed, days gotten colder. . . .

I thank him and shift to circulate some blood.

Two bucks shorter of a bus ride, I have the caloric leisure to walk

the 36 blocks home and yet I'm no closer

To solving the "homeless problem."

Copyright Gloria Ng, 2002