Hungry & Homeless
Have you ever met a homeless vet?
Or do you turn your head and look away I bet, and try to forget.
Tom will ask, “Spare change or a dollar”, with a defeated smile
as he walks back and forth so many times in a mile;
hasty and hurried, he hustles with his hand stretched for a while,
his path has worn over time, asking each car parked single file.
Brief in duration, 30 seconds, a light cycle, he moves quick and agile.
We are forced to face his grief as a nation, only to give him a denial.
Without hesitation, we cast judgment with disdain, based solely on his looks, stench, and stains, as if he was on trial.
Fearing what we might find to be on his mind, we pray he stays away!
We look away from this castaway, as he sleeps in the streets as a stray.
Overcome with a blank expression of deep depression and dismay,
he begs for money to resolve his penniless oppression every day.
Midday under the roadway, with his life in disarray, he drinks his pain of bitter wine that everyone else would throw away.
Tom ponders his destitute and demise, and wonders what he did to deserve Destiny’s long line to Doomsday!
Lying in the gutter dehumanized, dirty, and slowly dying, we overlook his crying and meaningless mutter of decay.
Is he dead? Did anyone even bother to stop and look?
Or is he to be just another dog-tag number with a name in a book?
Neglected, rejected, and disrespected, even his basic human dignity society came and took.
Let us look within each of us, Tom got away from us but many on the streets still stay with us.
Tom was not voiceless, and his life was not pointless. He was a heroic homeless vet, and we were careless to forget.
- Ariana M. Perez