Man on the street

a poem by Linda Bates Terrell, USA

I walked down the street
Never a friendly face did I meet
I briskly pushed forward my feet
Toward the inside of the street.

A man knelt beneath the awning near the door
His jeans ragged and tore
His shirt of extreme sad odor
I ask him. "Why sir? Why do you sit upon this walk?
He smiled, and held out a cup, but would not talk.

He cast his hat toward the west
I looked ahead just forth
It was my self in a vision
resting high upon a galloping steed
With money all around me
As I leaped-- in my greed
I kept denying. "This is not me."

I ask this man
"Why sir, does this vision contain me?
This is not me
I am not greedy
I do not lie,"

He looked me, right in the eye
He then whispered, voice so low, to me
"Many a days you passed me by
I held my cup up to you so high
You looked away with a discusted sigh
This vision is how I see you from my eye."

My heart sank, as I listened to his words.
He raised slowly, then rested upon his crutch.
He began as he wiped his brow from the heat,
"You see I fought for you in far lands,
Lost my legs, but still have my hands,
Many like I hold this cup
to recieve the pity as from inwardly cry
Searching for jobs, no longer gratifys my luck
"I have past military awards
But lack social rank
On this street do you not feel safe
Safe from guns and tanks
Or when you sit at your table
to pray and give prayers of thanks."

I looked this man in his eyes
Filled his cup with all I had.
Sir I now thank you for what you did.
Forgive me of my selfish display.
I pray for you now every day.

Linda Terrell

This is not like most poems but more like a short story with a lesson in greed. Sometimes through the holes of our societies those veterans slip. They end up on the street or in most awful desperate situations. This is only a memorial to those who fought, suffered, and died.
Thank you to those men and women.

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