My morning walk down Kensington’s Queen Street was bliss;

until I was confronted by a man, presumably sleeping under a blanket,

his head peeking out of one end.


Something about this man’s presence,

there on the pavement of a leafy suburb,

disrupts what would otherwise be a normal Sunday morning.

And yet this homeless person’s presence flies in the face of normality.


Just a few metres away, along the same pavement,

another man is curled up at the base of a tree,

his jeans fitting loosely around his waist.

Unlike the first man, he has no blanket.

Instead he is wearing a weathered jacket,

perhaps his only source of warmth.


His body language and positioning communicates

something different to the world.

He seems to encroach on less of the pavement,

as if trying to blend in with the environment,

without being an inconvenience to pedestrians.


Neither of them stirs as I quietly walk past.

Their faces mask whatever emotions bubble

just beneath the surface,

and yet, if I weren’t too embarrassed to linger,

I might’ve glimpsed something more…

a clue to their untold life story.


Both these human beings, in their own way,

perhaps unconsciously, force those of us who don’t wear blinkers,

to introspect and constantly evaluate our role in society.


They scream:

I am a human being!

I’m not invincible!

I too belong!


They remind us that they too came into this world

 the same way we did.

They too are a part of a country that claims to identify with ubuntu.