Monday, September 7, 2020

ENCOUNTER WITH HOMELESS WOMAN

 I wrote this poem long ago after seeing a homeless woman on the street. She used to wander the streets of our town. I had been told that she had once been in a home as she was mentally afflicted, but it had closed and she was on her own. She disappeared, not sure what happened to her.

BOULEVARD LADY 

I see her

shuffling towards me, disheveled, shabby,

soiled, shoes ragged, tattered black pants,

russet coat threadbare and frayed,

head topped by a black

antiquated hat of worn lace,

glimpses of silvery strands

dangling from beneath.

A frail figure swallowed up

in a sea of baggy garments.

A vacant expression drapes

her bony face. She leans

upon a grocery cart, its clumsy gait

echoing hers as she ambles nearer.

She mutters mysteriously with shadowy

companions. Sporadic jerks of her hands

swat at relentless insects persistently

buzzing insults of her condition.

She is close now, within arms reach.

I shudder uneasily.

Her eyes contact mine and,

at that moment,

when she smiles

I see her.

8 comments:

  1. Very moving Rose. Hope your Labor Day Weekend was good.
    xoxo
    Kris

    ReplyDelete
  2. Wow. That is a powerful, emotional poem. One of your best.
    Thanks.
    Beth

    ReplyDelete
  3. I love your poem. SUE

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  4. Rose, what a lovely poem! So poignant, so evocative of our homeless, our destitute, or mentally ill. Have printed it out to save. Thanks for sharing.  Alice

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  5. I really like the line "a vacant expression drapes/ her bony face"
    and the lines about the insects around her. We really see her and we see her humanity. Thank you. Linda

    ReplyDelete