Friday, 26 August 2016 19:02

The Homeless

Written by Don Foran
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Don Foran – Friend of the Affiliates

Ten men clamber out of the creaking van,

Their sweaty bodies meeting a kiss

Of cool night air.

They drift, silently, sullenly

Toward the darkened church.

Mattresses lie, two or three to a room,

Along walls decorated with children’s

Drawings and almost casual crucifixions.

Carl, Eddie, Jake and the others

Throw their worn packs and bags 

Onto the makeshift beds, and John,

It’s always John, is first to ask 

If he can have his sack lunch now,

Not in the morning as we had planned.

“Sure,” I say, almost as anxious as he

To assuage this remediable hunger.

Several echo John, and soon all 

Are feasting on pb and j;  apples, celery,

And other healthy fare remains on the table,

But they’re happier now, even communicative.

One thanks me for setting a new pair of white socks

On each mattress.  Another offers a juice cup 

To a friend.  “Lights out!” Rick calls at ten,

And no one argues, no one hesitates.  Sleep

Knits once more the raveled sleeve of care,

Obliterates the hurt, soothes the jangled nerves.

Tomorrow will be another day,

Another cheerless day embroidered

With small triumphs, fragile dreams.

Note: “The Homeless” first appeared in Beyond Parallax, Centralia College (2003). Reprinted with permission.

 

 

Read 603 times Last modified on Saturday, 27 August 2016 23:05

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