When You’re Out On The Street

This is a poem about homelessness. It was written using couplets and sestets.

When you’re out on the street
In the summer day’s heat
And you see me in rags
Just holding some bags
Remember the high price
You paid for looking so nice

For I wear no disguise
‘Cause I can’t compromise
And I’m not trying to fit in
‘Cause I can’t even get in
And all that talk of winning
Just leaves my head spinning

Now who is to blame
For this state of shame
When you drive by my dwelling
What will you be smelling
Is it the dirt in the air
Or a feeling of despair

As you try to get ahead
Do you still feel the dread
That you might become me
Like some outcast refugee
That the system can’t handle
Just a flickering candle

But who pays a high price
For taking a large slice
What do you win in the end
If you cannot comprehend
The meaning of your own life
Or the source of your own strife

What should your response be
When you see one like me
Should you pity my lot
Or just leave me to rot
As society’s curse
Or treat me much worse

But are we not the same
At the end of the game
Won’t your material things
To which your heart clings
Follow you to the dust
And won’t they all rust

And who is more ready
Whose heart is more steady
Who can open the door
To what death has in store
Does all of your greed here
Provide what you need there

Though you live like a god
On this temporal sod
You will die like a man
And end as you began
And all of your might
Will end like the night

So when you’re on the street
And we have the chance to meet
Know that I am a part of you
And no matter what you do
You cannot long delay
Equality’s great day

(written c. February 2011)

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