The cardboard is out. The homeless, the panhandlers, the scammers--they stand on corners and at the edges of parking lots and freeway onramps. Nearly every one of them has a dog. Nearly every one of them dresses in layers. Translation: they're wearing everything they own. They sit on sleeping bags, duffel bags, boxes. There might be a bicycle. Each needs a shower. Stringy hair, scruffy beards. Hands that have known work hold the cardboard. "Just need a little help. God bless." "Trying to get home. Thank you." "Have three kids. Need help." "Homeless Vet. God loves you." "Just a little food. Blessings." "John 3:16."
If you're stuck at a light they'll stare you down, then drop their head as you pull away. Their eyes are far back. Glazed over, yet dull. Despair can't see very far. The fingers rub the signs. The worn, help-me signs. It's Spring in Colorado, and the cardboard is out.