WELCOME TO THE LYRIC POETRY WEBSITE
A REFUGE FOR POETS WHO WRITE IN THE LYRIC TRADITION,
WITH RHYME AND METER, WITH OR WITHOUT MUSIC
Did you see the homeless woman
Shuffling down the city blocks?
Possessions in a shopping cart,
Bedroll in a cardboard box,
She mutters softly to herself
As if someone would hear,
But passersby have passed her by
Each day for many years.
If you should stop, what would you say?
She’s probably crazy anyway,
Too lazy to work an honest day,
She probably wants to live this way.
You can still find her after dark
When it’s damp and cold and late,
Huddled and bundled in blankets
In her cardboard box on a heating grate.
And as you scurry on by her
To your heated, lighted home,
You’ll pass abandoned buildings
That the banks and slumlords own,
With glass from broken window panes
Scattered about their rotting floors,
And prominent “no trespassing” signs
Posted on their boarded doors.
You would not think to let her inside.
Why should this woman get a free ride?
The first step toward a socialist state!
Better to leave her on the heating grate.
If the weather gets no better,
The mayor will play the hero
And open a homeless shelter
When temperatures drop to zero.
And after one short, blessed night,
They’ll wake her up with the morning light,
Give her a bowl of cereal, then
Put her out on the street again.
And there but for the grace of God go we;
But don’t you worry, God shed his grace on thee.
Keene, New Hampshire, 1988
See Table of Contents
Go to next page