So I have done an author interview on my site but never a guest post. I was so inspired by reading a recent piece of poetry/prose by one of the most beautiful souls I know however, that I asked Jess Shoez if she would be willing to do a guest posting here for all of you so you could experience it as well.

Her writing is heartfelt and touching. It pulls at your soul and caresses it gently taking you through the beautiful caring way she sees life. She has a great way of adding humour into some of her pieces as well that will leave you blushing and begging for more.

I truly feel blessed having met her at the Burlington Poetry Slam before she left for a teaching experience in Guangzhou, China which has brought even more depth to the writing that she so graciously shares with so many on Facebook.

I hope you will enjoy this piece as much as I have, and if you’d like to comment and leave feedback, feel free to do it either here, or check her out on Facebook where you can also find some more of her notes and writings. She loves hearing feedback and is always looking for ways to improve. And just when I think I’ve heard her best, she always surprises me with more! 🙂 She’s hoping to come back for a visit in January as well, and should be back to stay at the end of next year I think, so be sure to swing by the BPS if you want to hear her up on stage when she’s back too!! and without further adieu……


Dear boy,

I hate myself for not being able to help you.

Every morning, I walk past you on the way to school, and there you sit in your wheelchair, stacks upon stacks of newspapers at your feet.

You always hold out your hands to me, stained with ink from the papers, and look up at me with round eyes. You can never say very much, but in those eyes I can read a lifetime of hardship, pain, and sadness. You just want one person to know your story, to connect with. And for one moment, you see me coming down the sidewalk, stacks of books in my arms, laptop bag on my shoulder, hunched from the weight, and your entire face brightens. Your smile is a painting of simple joy, and it makes me feel wonderful that I caused that, just by being the one out of thousands of people who walk past you who actually stops to say hi to you.

I will always remember your hands. Stained with ink from rustling countless papers every day, your fingers, long and slender, beautiful, an artist’s hands, and so, so strong. You grip my hands in yours like you can squeeze your thoughts into me, like you want to press your life story into my skin, write it into my blood, and like I can save you from sitting alone on the sidewalk for the next 12 hours selling your papers to these strangers. You hold onto me, and I almost think you won’t ever let me go. I almost hope you won’t.

But I always have to go, and the moment always passes, and soon my thoughts turn to other things. And soon you continue to wait on the corner for another human being to give you the time of day. And some jackass will kick over your stack of newspapers and walk away, or some woman will look down at you and wrinkle her nose, and I won’t be there to help you. And I’m so, so sorry.

But I’m telling you now. That woman doesn’t know that you’re a man who hopes and dreams and loves. She doesn’t know that your hands, your hard, slender hands, blackened and filthy with ink, have more beauty and truth in them than she does in her entire body. So don’t you ever let her hurt you. Just smile your wide, bright smile, and hold onto that truth. Because there is at least one person on that sidewalk who knows your beauty, and though I may only spend a moment with you each day, know that you impact me in a way I barely know how to describe long after I’ve left that sidewalk.

original post: posted with permission from Jess Shoez (c) 2012