Stench Of Urine

Stench of urine,

Cardboard shacks,

Shopping carts,

Tattered clothes,

Hand-me-downs from the dumpster I suppose.

 

Rummaging through waste baskets,

Feasting on tainted food scraps,

Hiding in the shadows,

Sleeping on steam grates,

Misused,

Abused,

Something less than human.

 

Left for dead in the cold,

Filth in the form of flesh and blood,

But have you ever looked into their eyes,

Heard their hearts beat,

Seen them cry,

Gasp for their final breath?

 

I’m sure you haven’t

As you stepped over their broken bodies,

Avoiding them like the plague,

Chuckling at their despair,

On your way to your comfortable life.

 

Can’t you take a moment to lend a hand,

A little food,

A little shelter,

A bit of cash,

Instead of treating them like lepers,

Feeding off teets of the man..

 

You don’t know them,

You don’t know their stories,

Their hardships,

Their tragedies,

But you should…

They are our brothers and sister after all.

 

~~ Dominic R. DiFrancesco ~~

Joy and Glad Tidings

Joy and glad tidings

Hallmarks of this gleeful time

Lost by so many

Those without means, abandoned

Are left to suffer alone

No tree, gifts or warmth

Is afforded to these souls

They’re invisible

Perhaps the Christmas spirit

Was meant as a reminder

That giving is more

Than gifts to friends and family

It’s to all mankind

 

~~ Dominic R. DiFrancesco ~~

50 Word Story: The Vagrant

Dressed in their finest, the mogul and his mistress approached the steps of the marble behemoth.  They were running late for the gubernatorial ball and the inconvenience of the vagrant lying before them just served to infuriate.

Yelling obscenities at his still body…they did not realize he was dead.

~~ Dominic R. DiFrancesco ~~

Skinned Knees

Skinned knees

Blood red

Torn pants

Frayed rope belt

Too big for frail frame

~

Nails caked

Hands shake

Dirty hands

Utensils for eating

Food is scarce

~

Shirt ragged

Sleeves ripped

Buttons missing

Better than nothing

Shopped from trash

~

Face leather

Beard unshaven

Hair matted

No place to shower

Embarrassed by odor

~

Scrap cardboard

Help Me Please

Eyes pleading

Can you spare a dime

Will you spare a dollar

~

Looking away

He’s invisible

Just a bum

Remember his knees

He wounds like us

~

You pray to God

Recite His passages

Holier than thou

Looking down your nose

You detestable hypocrite

~

~~ Dominic R. DiFrancesco ~~

Life on the Off-ramp

Hot summer days,

A/C blasting cold and refreshing,

Music blaring from the car radio,

Cardboard signs,

“Will work for food”,

Litter the freeway off-ramps,

Held by vagrants and transients,

Dirty and broken,

Looking for food,

Looking for a better life,

Hoping to survive another day,

You pass by averting your eyes,

Pretending…no wishing they were not there,

Not because of sadness for their condition,

But out of deep seated embarrassment,

Red faced by lack of action,

Of compassion,

Of sympathy,

Seeing them as less than human,

A drain on society,

Would some spare change put you out,

Not likely,

But then you would have to face reality.

~~ D. R. DiFrancesco ~~

Buddy Can You Spare A Dime

By D. R. DiFrancesco

The alarm rings,

Pastie mouthed, joints aching,

Swinging my legs off the bed,

Damn arthritis,

The cold is killing me.

I rub my eyes to wipe away the blur,

Standing in line to use the bathroom,

It wasn’t always this way.

Looking over my shoulder,

Bedroll, pair of pants and a shirt,

All I have left to my name,

Insignificant to most,

Something to fight for.

A hot meal,

Maybe the last for the day,

An assembly line of the wretched,

Like dogs fighting over scraps of meat,

Degrading and demoralizing.

Back to the street,

Bedroll under my arm,

Wearing everything I own.

More stares,

People pass by,

Eye contact would make me human,

I was an accountant for God’s sake,

I had a wife,

Left when times got tough,

I have kids,

They think Daddy’s gone away.

No surprise work is hard to come by,

One set of cloths,

Infrequent showers,

Unshaven,

Politicians want us to pull ourselves up by the bootstraps,

What bootstraps,

I wouldn’t hire me?

Panhandling,

For money, food, drink, and the occasional odd job,

Pennies, rocks, and insults are thrown my way,

I’m not a bum,

I’m you, one hospital bill away,

One hospital bill and you are me.

Maybe I’ll get a hot meal tonight,

Shelter,

A warm bed,

Maybe I won’t,

Look in the mirror,

Who do you see?

Plight of the Homeless

By D. R. DiFrancesco

Shadow people abound,

Faceless and nameless they inhabit our streets,

Forgotten amongst the urban sound,

Left to stifle in summer’s heat.

 

Shadow people trapped,

Passed by like trash littering the walkway,

Feeble hands outstretched for scraps,

Passersby strain to look away.

 

Shadow people lost,

Beaten down by an iron fist,

Society tries to subdue them at any cost,

Acting as though they don’t exist.

 

Shadow people remain,

Vagrants, homeless, bums, call them what you will,

Put a hand out to ease their strain,

Comfort and humanity and faith instill.

 

Shadow people no more,

Take them in, in body and soul,

End the battle of class; end the poverty of war,

Lift them up, our brothers and sisters, their urgency behold.