Bravery on Tenth Street

By Grace Paley

Published April 04, 2003, issue of April 04, 2003.

This morning a man

his head hanging from

the weak curved stem

of neck feeble wife

beside him her hands

grip a walker a small

shopping bag knotted

to her wrist she leans

slides toward him he

turns his head pain looks

up around alarmed steadies

her she is upright they

walk ten or twelve steps

are suddenly stalled

she begins to drift tremble

he stands a twisted bulwark

his eyes on the pavement how

to get home half a block

away was life this long



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