imago dei

he sat huddled in his black puffy parka
on his black plastic chair
at the bottom of the exit ramp,
far enough under the highway’s overhang
to be safe but close enough
to the turn lane that those
stalled by a red light could see
the whites of his eyes
and pretend they hadn’t noticed.
i caught the tail of a long yellow
and glided gratefully around the corner,
ashamed at my desire to avoid
the gaze of the imago dei,
ashamed that i always feel ashamed
yet never know what to do.
on cold nights when i’m snuggled under the covers
i think of the brothers and sisters
huddled up among garbage bags
and in cardboard boxes, and i pray
that they might be protected,
that they would be led to safety,
that they could accept shelter.
and in the morning (if i remember)
i wonder how many more images of God
met their Maker in the night.