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Promoting rapid sheltering of unsheltered & unprotected women.


Sweater is pulled over her head like a hat
her middle aged face lost in the ratty fabric
talking to herself as she stands in the midst

of a chaotic hallucination
a world she experiences as real as she stands

in the middle of traffic.
Cars whirl by in morning frenzy to get to their destination
ignore her schizophrenic screams
their car windows shut tight and

their eyes stare ahead unblinking.
Myopic moments in collective cars agree

to ignore her fragile plight.


When she emerges from the bushes

the harsh glare of reality is too confusing;

she covers her face with a sweater

to mute the loud morning bustle

that crowds her mental fog.

Barefoot and unkempt
her calloused soles of collected miles
make her gait off kilter.

She ambles in haze of vacancy
battling demons she sees and believes surround her.
She ducks and swerves from her interior traffic as
cars swerve to avoid her.


Aimless she wanders in a world only she

can see and hear.

(c)2018 Dayna Leslie Hodges

Listen To My Story

In inebriated urgency, she spills

her monologue

to an audience of three;

incoherent run-ons

tumble like rapids to the sea.

Wednesday’s woes churn

as bottle holds her captive.

 “Listen to my story”

stumbles in puzzle piece animation

words rise without landing

rhyme of reason drowns

in murky waters.


Bare knees kneel upon cement floor

she knocks on Heaven’s door

like it was her neighbor’s house

she expects God to answer

she curls quiet; waits

for wind to whisper His voice.


Psalm 23 opens the door

with promise of rest,

the good Shepherd invites her in.


She lost her footing, forgot faith

retreated back into the bottle

slipped sudden to the streets

in garments of delirium.


In intoxicated logic

she speaks like a runaway train

“Listen to my story” she interrupts

in derailed refrain

as hour nears midnight.


In rapt attention, we stand in frigid air

sidewalk our broken church  

we will go home to warmth

she will remain in cold air clutches

with only a coat.

“Hallelujah” she smiles to God.


She is an abstract painting

whose blurred language

we endeavor to understand;

I listen with my ears and eyes

to decipher colors amidst haze.


One love, her desire

one love, her belief

she visits drum circle

feels oneness

with other worshippers.


She implores, “Listen to my story”

with a fist bump to each of us;

we respond, skin to skin.

Touch matters.

Her toothless smile lights the darkness.


We are like a raft upon a chaotic river

as she muddles her monologue

in these perilous waters;

we will not drown,

though this Wednesday woman may.

She needs a lifeboat;

we lean in, as she unravels.

Her “Hallelujah” hangs midair.


With open-ended monologue on pause

she ambles to the park

where she will nurse vodka

chatter to the wind and fall asleep

on damp grass beneath street lamps

mumbling, “Listen to my story.”

(c)2018 Dayna Leslie Hodges

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