Troubled Dreams

I had just arrived
Out of breath
Too many tasks awaiting
I am late and the rush of time
Consumes my mind

You stop me in my tracks
“Brother, I need your help”
“Give me a minute,” I said
Barely noticing the deep worry
On your tired face.

I busy myself with the pressing things
Opening doors, giving instructions
You stand there patiently waiting
Hands in your pockets
Hiding the nervousness

Can I help you?

I need money and a place to stay
I have nothing but these bags of clothes.
Where will I sleep, brother? What will I eat?

The call came from the hallway
A teacher perhaps
Login credentials not working
Or a locked door
Needs opening
I’ll be back in a minute, I said

Do you have anything to give?
I need a night’s rest and some food

I’m sorry, you came at the wrong time
There’s no one here to open the safe
I have no keys, no access
Here, take these with you
Nothing much, but all I have

Here, fill this form
Someone will get back to you
Or come back tomorrow
When the office is open

You look at me
Eyes fall to the floor
Resignation on your face
For tonight, perhaps for ever
It’s the same story
Taking the few dollars
Pick up your bags
Shoulders hunched
You shuffle across the marble hallway
Leaving me with troubled dreams