He is Invisible

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Poetry  |  House: Booksie Classic
a poem about how we tend to ignore the homeless....

Submitted: November 11, 2011

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Submitted: November 11, 2011



He is invisible.

He holds his head up,

tries to meet your gaze

but you turn your face

and look away.

He stands on the same corner,

every day in blistering heat,

unforgiving sunlight.

You have seen him age

for the past four years

under that overpass.

You shift in your comfortable seat,

turn up your car's A/C,

fidget with the radio dials,

anything to avoid his haunted eyes,

anything to avoid the momentarywave of guilt

that envelopes you

as you read his simple,

bluntly stated cardboard plea.

"No Job, No Home, Please Help."

And now it is raining,

the torrential monsoons of June in Miami

where the streets flood

at a moment's notice.

You don't see him and

you wonder vaguely,

if maybe he has an umbrella.

How calmly you contemplate

another man's indignity.

How devoid of compassion

are your thoughts.

Now it is winter

and it is unreasonably cold

for paradise.

You see him wearing

only a threadbare jacket.

His breath comes out

in misty clouds

and his hands are raw.

He looks cold, you think

as you turn up the heater

in your Mercedes Benz.

He is nothing more than

'the homeless man of US1'

to you.

That man has a name.

People used to call him Tom

and he had a house just like yours

with a wife and a child

and wonderful possibilities,

just like you do.

He has a story

oftragedy and loss

and a long history

of wishing he was dead.

And now Tom has the corner

of US1 and Kendall Drive,

where he holds his sign

and he no longer even thinks

about suicide.

All his thoughts have been allotted

to the business of surviving

as death by starvation is not pleasant thing

and the human body balks at the idea.

When will you see him,

really see him,

for the sorrowful soul that he is?

When will you feel something more

than mild annoyance

and discomfort

by the frank gaze

of need and hopelessness?

He is there,

waiting for that day.


© Copyright 2018 Violet Vane. All rights reserved.

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