12/21/05

Inez Powell

If you drive north into downtown Indianapolis on Illinois Street, just as you're crossing Washington Street you'll usually see her. A woman, on the sidewalk, sitting in a wheelchair, singing.

It's one of those things you see out your car window and shake your head at first... "some crazy lady," you think to yourself. She's selling flowers, it looks like, and bundled up in lots of different clothing, in lots of different colors. Over time you come to look for her... pulling up to the light, listening for her song, glancing over to make sure she's still there.

Then, one day, she's not there anymore.

You see an article in the paper about her, actually, and when the picture of her pops up you have that familiar moment of recognition all over again, and for a moment you're a little relieved.

"Oh, there she is."

It says her name in the article, and her story, neither of which you never knew or asked. It says she died right there, on the street, Sunday afternoon, falling out of her wheelchair. They're not sure why.

So you go back to your work, and when your work is finished you go back to your home, driving south past the place where Inez Powell sat for so many years, singing songs to strangers.

And you think - wondering if you'll miss her... hoping that you will, and that she won't be forgotten as quickly as you always forgot her in the past. You think about the city you live in, and how it's not all football stadiums and chain restaurants and cubicle office buildings.

You think it's sad that she's gone, and that her corner, and your city, are emptier now without her. But you smile, remembering how much fuller it seems because of this story, because you remember her, because she was here.

2 comments:

Chantelle said...

I saw that in the paper the other day too. How sad!

Your post is very sweet.

Jan said...

A beautiful Story