Saturday, October 10, 2015

Homeless Poem on World Homeless Day

Today October 10 has two holidays that are bookends on the shelves of observances--World Mental Health Day and World Homeless Day. Over 3.5 million homeless in the U.S. alone, over a third with children, thousands of vets who have served this nation, countless addicts, mentally ill, all sharing one common thread--invisible and abandoned by the political sector and overwhelming the charitable sector's resources.   
Shopping Cart Scooners
In the 19th Century they loaded prairie schooners with staples and hope
Miles of prairie, deserts and rivers to cross, mountains to climb
All possessions on their backs or in the wagons
Oxen pulling, cattle moving slowly behind
Mile after mile toward the setting sun
Mile after mile, closer to the promised land
Settlers in search of new lives and dreams
Frontier open, gates unlocked
Today on the streets and parks in our cities
The schooners are shopping carts
The possessions in plastic bags
Devoid of hope, devoid of dreams
No Holiday Inns or Motel Sixes
A bus bench, a park bench or a parking lot
Nomads with no place to go
Always on the move by the police
Addicts, alcoholics and the mentally ill
Faceless, nameless, unwashed, skin a canvas of sores
No roofs for shelter,  only stars and the moon
No take out or dining in
Only the pickings from the trash
No city is immune from the homeless spread
But shelters are rarer than winning Powerballs

The 10th of October is World Homeless Day
Time to roll down the windows
Take off the blinders
Time to the instinct to help obey 
© October 10, 2015, Michael P. Ridley aka the Alaskanpoet
Alaskanpoet for Hire, Poems to Admire
Poet Extraordinaire Beyond Compare
Rhymes for All the Memorable Times
The Perfect Gift, All Recipients to Receive a Lasting Lift 

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