Sunday, November 14, 2010

Photo Prompt > Not a poem, but inspired.

One Stop Poetry has a photo prompt on homelessness. I am not a poet, but I will try to get some words down. Because it happened to me, and it can happen to you.

It's easy to ignore the scruffy one, the one sitting smoking the butt of the cigarette that he found on the ground.
It's easy to ignore the noisy one, the one standing outside the shop, stopping you for change as you leave.
It's easy to ignore the loud one, the one screaming to sky, hoping that God hears him, because no one else is.
It's easy to ignore them, because you see them. Even if you try not too, they are there.

But there are the ones: too proud to beg, too proud to let themselves look like they are homeless, and too ashamed to let their friends know.

Some even have jobs, but instead of heading home every night to watch reality TV. They are cramped with their family in one bedroom of the family shelter or living in their car. Mother and Father and kids.

They bathe at the Y. They make excuses if someone wants to visit them. While others are buying too much junk for the Holidays, they have to tell the kids that Santa might not come.

They are not there because they abused drugs, they are not there because they ran. They are there because what they are paid cannot even get them a small apartment. Or the medical bills have wiped out all their funds. Or they lost their home and there are no jobs.

You can't ignore them, because they do not want to be seen with the scruffy, noisy, and loud ones. They want to just have a stable place to call their own. A place where their kids can have friends over. It doesn't have to be a mansion, just a place to hall home.


  1. truly inspired...there are lots of reasons for homelessness...many beyond the assumptions nice write...

  2. your writing is inspired and that's what counts

    I love you view - we are living on the very edge at the moment from no fault of our own except the economy and losing our business and not being able to find work. Each months I wonder if we will tell the kids that the car is our new home.

    Thanks so much for the honesty - it is so nice to meet you. Are you on twitter? there is a guy who has a homeless daily - this would be a great article

    moon hugs

    P.S. best with nanowrimo I am struggling but may pull it off yet

  3. Thanks Brian and moondustwriter. I am on twitter, look me up under @leapetra.

    The hidden homeless are harder to help, because so many of them do not want the stigma of homelessness.

    A couple of good things that did come out of our stint. Much closer as a family. We don't want a bunch of stuff, if it means we will have to give up on being with each other.
    And lately; my eldest is applying to colleges, he said his essay on being homeless got his application on the top of the pile in a few schools.

    Good can come out of it.

  4. Not a poem? When reading it aloud it sounds like one. It can pass off for both poem and prose.Beautiful write.

  5. You brought tears to my eyes.

    Very very moving.

    thank you.

    Louise G.

  6. yes - we can't and we shouldn't ignore them

  7. It may not be a proper traditional type of poem, but I would call it a prose poem for the simple reason that the story is told through poetic devices.

    I like the power, and the realism that comes across in this writing. It saddens us, because as we read, we realise it could be any one of us in that very position which you are expressing.

  8. Powerful words spoken those not wanting to be seen, but the need to be heard is great. The need to help heal is great.

  9. you know what you wrote a prose poem...this is something that got developed in this millennial...true very true..,

    Do visit my other blog and drop in your thought at the post destination unknown . It too speaks of a homeless person with a brighter mood.