Father says I’m foolish to spend so much time volunteering at the shelter. He probes, “What did those people ever do for you? Do they work all day to pay your bills? Do they buy you clothes at the mall? No. Those people are hopeless and nobody cares about them.”

Father sneers and walks away. Later I try to remember what I like about volunteering. I can’t think of anything but decide to continue helping anyway. I’ll be the best volunteer ever, because perhaps my dad is right. Homeless folks are hopeless and nobody cares about them. Just like me.




Adrian S. Potter writes poetry and short fiction. He is the author of the fiction chapbook Survival Notes (Červená Barva Press, 2008) and winner of the 2010 Southern Illinois Writers Guild Poetry Contest. Some publication credits include North American Review, Jet Fuel Review, Obsidian and Kansas City Voices. He blogs, sometimes, at adrianspotter.com.