"Garde ton sourire"

 "Un jour a la fois" said the panhandler to me. I spoke to him for a minute and I apologized that I didn't have change only to realize much later that I did.

He was weather beaten and probably not more than 65; part of the increasing population of the world who fall under the category of the have nots. Not far up the incline from the corner on which he stood was the newly refreshed Montreal downtown core with its new profile of condo towers and deluxe Starbucks franchises. It's been so upgraded that I sometimes need to question which corner I am on in an area I have walked repeatedly over more than 30 years.

As I walked away from him wishing him a good day he said to me "garde ton sourire" which I imagine wasn't quite as easy for him as for me.


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