Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Life on the Streets

the first symbol of poverty
a gnawing pain deep in the gut
making garbage tossed in the dumpster

a substitute for regular food
substance for flavor  
with anything that offers sustenance

a person can live without a home
benefitting from the generosity
of strangers and public sympathy.

follows close behind
living without adequate shelter
consuming food of questionable value
exposed to the elements and parasites
upon the street

a toothache that never heals
pain in the gut from internal ills
an anguish that can't find relief
no ribbon for the disenfranchised

lingering on abandoned streets
in alley ways and under freeways
huddled with others like themselves
hidden from the rest of the world

grateful for the gift of clothing,
a sleeping bag, a place to wash,
a chance to clean-up for a little while.

for false moves and bad luck
taking the limited time on earth
and squandering all opportunities
drowning sorrows in drugs or drink
leaving the mind and body numb

trying to forget about lost love
and mistakes in one swallow
the only choice left is survival
trying to find pleasure in whatever

life has left, a five dollar hand-out
from a stranger, a warm meal at the church,
a friendship with a rat in the gutter,
no thoughts of suicide, even though
it looks like there is no further down to go.

comes to all living things the rich and famous
the downtrodden and forgotten
children, animals, plants. Birth
comes with a life sentence,
it is not good or bad, fair or unfair

right or wrong, it is just the way it is
and each day could be the last
at the hands of a deranged maniac
or a mosquito with a deadly virus

when we meet the face of god
will He accept us into His heavenly kingdom
or will it look like it did on earth
scavenging and surviving 

on the savage streets?

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