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Friday, March 13, 2015

Fast and Furious


I was driving home from dinner out with my kids when I saw my slice. A man who is homeless walking down the street. I've seen him before. There are many where we live. This is not new. It is sad. I saw him and instantly I was hit with a poem. Driving in the car is possibly the worst place to be hit with a poem when you can't pull over and voice it on your phone or write it in your notebook. Normally when a poem hits me like this I pull over and do one or the other. But, alas, this one was swirling and I just had to keep repeating it in my head, over and over. My kids tried to get my attention, they were playing with their new slime from Michael's Craft Store (I know, in the car, I must be crazy). I was shushing them LIKE CRAZY, trying to keep the words. I kept most of them, but some drifted, as he was, drifting.

Tattered rags
upon my head
I don't know
what others said
about me when
I was what I was
a blue collar worker
now a peddler
a walker
a person
I'm a person
but I beg for my bread.

I wanted to emphasize that he is a person. He may not feel like one. Others may not see him as one. He may feel like a walker, a zombie in this place that is so delusional to those who are homeless. A place that doesn't always take care of its people. A place that turns their eyes and thinks it will never be them. No one is born and hopes to be homeless. It happens. It is not a choice. No one would choose that life.

2 comments:

  1. Moving and powerful. And so sad.

    And this: "Driving in the car is possibly the worst place to be hit with a poem when you can't pull over and voice it on your phone or write it in your notebook." is so true... I have so many writing ideas in the car. Once I tried to speak to text it to my phone... but the results were so weird, I haven't tried again.

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  2. This is a powerful story Betsy! And it's true, poems often hit at the worst moments-the car, the shower, the middle of the night. I'm glad you captured this one so well today.

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