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August 5, 2010 / Gio

Rough Sleeping

A homeless man chats with a parking meter

mumbling something about stocks he used to own

and the wife who took it all.

Two men squat in storefront doorway

with cardboard ATM

and blinking red light

waiting for cash deposits.

Bill sleeps on the beach and wears a bra;

he floats through stories of Vietnam,

the blue pacific,

and the quiet way

fear consumes a man.

He shares his drink.

She sits on a sidewalk in midtown

with a baby on her lap,

gazing at corporate garb

and floral dresses;

and the breeze of a fragrance,

waiting to hear the clank of a coin.

He stands in shaded handball court

shouting words and stories

like an actor rehearsing a part;

a part I’d never want to live.

Four white walls

and that cartoon image of a little white truck

with men in white suits.

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3 Comments

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  1. Lisa / Dec 15 2010 8:46 pm

    Giovanni ~ Thank you so much for sharing this poem with me. This is still weighing on my mind today, a lot of thoughts and feelings still there. I love your poem, especially uncovering the ‘people’ we often walk by. I wonder sometimes if we rush on past because perhaps finding out how a person winds up homeless would hit too close to home? If I keep you, or him, or her at bay, then that particular ‘group’ is separate and different from me…leaving me safe. My fear fuels my pace.

    Thank you

  2. Bird Willette / Oct 16 2010 11:33 am

    Sad indeed when we lose hope, love, family, faith and all the other things civilization says we must cherish. Having once been on that brink, praying angrily for some charity in any form, I realized that where-ever ones strength is it can never be allowed to be buried with our fears. Yes, easy enough to say “in retrospect” but still a basic truth. Loved what you wrote.

  3. Libby Murphy / Aug 7 2010 10:18 pm

    Now that was worth reading!

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