Kiss each little green head as they sleep.
Worry of what may happen if they wake before you return.
Leave anyway because there is no one else and love is a verb.
Shiver against the bitter cold midnight.
Traipse through miles of muck and refuse.
Climb upward with exhaustion in each step and supplies at your back.
Check at every sewer grate for lost coins or the occasional dollar.
Expose yourself to the dangers of the surface world.
Worry what would happen to them if you were ever caught.
Go on anyway because there is no one else and love is a verb.
Slip silently through shadows and allies.
Rummage all night through dumpsters and trash bins.
Gather aluminum cans, salvageable blankets and half eaten scraps for your own meal.
Disguise your mutated body under a found coat and hat.
Find the homeless man who doesn't look up and doesn't ask questions.
Exchange the soda cans for a few dollars, though only half what he'll get for recycling them.
Lament your humanity that would make caring for them so much easier.
Berate yourself for wasting time dwelling on what will never be again.
Worry you've been gone too long already.
Move on anyway because there is no one else and love is a verb.
Navigate to the 24hr market with the headphone wearing cashier and drowsy security guard.
Survey from across the street to be sure the market is mostly empty and access is clear.
Duck as the metal chain swings toward your head.
Sweep his feet from under him before he can register the miss.
Grunt when his friend suddenly appears and punches you in the stomach.
Jab at pressure points in his neck as he tries to choke you.
Focus on the other as the first falls limp.
Return the punch to the second to double him over.
Spin into a kick to propel him to the wall.
Watch as the two run away, the little "old man" more of a challenge than they had thought.
Feel anger at teenage thugs that would steal your precious few dollars.
Bemoan that they probably have no one to love them.
Remember your purpose.
Worry the fight may have drawn attention.
Proceed anyway because there is no one else and love is a verb.
Breathe deeply to settle your fear at being under florescent lights even well disguised.
Remain casual as you lay milk, rice, potatoes, a cabbage and 4 small chocolates on the counter.
Fret you may not have enough money.
Exhale when the cashier bags your things and you walk out the door.
Turn into the alley to collect your earlier scavenged finds.
Drop into the nearest manhole, grateful to be underground again.
Trudge toward the lair as quickly as your heavy bags will allow.
Enter your home, finally, and hasten to place the milk and cabbage in the makeshift cooler.
Ignore the other groceries and supplies as you surge toward their sleeping mat.
Lay a gentle hand on each unmoved, breathing, sleeping head.
Lean back against the wall a little weak at the wave of relief that washes over you.
Thank the ancestors nothing happened and you were lucky one more time.
Worry you may not always be so fortunate.
Smile, live with the constant worry and go put the rest of the food in the cupboard anyway, because there is no one else and Love Is A Verb.