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 The Homeless Man

In America most of us can't even define what poverty is,
The government doesn't want to believe that the homeless exist.
All you have to look on the streets in Philly in the winter,
As these homeless ones experience the reality of poverty.
Not a single need outside of a little food and clothes on their backs,
As an uncaring humanity in its wealth passes them by or calls the cops.

The look of desperation in the eyes of these people shout out to God for help,
But the masses shuffle off to their jobs to support their lifestyles of security.
 “Get a job, for God helps those that help themselves.” they say passing these poor.
There is a look of hopelessness in them, as their dreams were crushed many years ago.
In poverty, not only of the needs of life, but also the robbery of their soul.
Hunger is in the faces looking up for a little help from a stranger passing by.

As the loneliness grows deeper,  withdrawal is the only escape.
I see a poor old man and wonder what his dreams were 40 years ago.
What is he thinking as he looks up at me from in front his sidewalk home?
I give him a five and tell him have a good day… He just stares blankly.
Then shuffles down the street, without a word, without any hope;
He buys a sandwich, a bottle of cheap wine, then he eats and forgets.

For just a moment his pain is eased as the strong drink helps him to rest;
His life has no meaning to those of us that pass by on the street.
His poverty is complete in his soul as his hollow heart beats slowly.
He crawls into an alley behind a dumpster to get out of the winter wind.
The temperature drops to -2 tonight; Snow is falling as he falls asleep.
Morning came as the assistant coroner arrived beside the dumpster.

The coroners office places a tag on this man's dirty shoeless toe;
John Doe is all it says as quietly his memory on this earth is vanquished.
I wake in my warm bed remembering the kindness I did for a homeless man yesterday.
I walk downstairs to my breakfast with my family, I tell them of my generosity.
I park my Mercedes in the guarded lot a block from my job, I bundle up in my coat;
Walk past the spot where the man was yesterday; I don't notice that it is vacant.


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