State of Homelessness….a Poem

I Wonder….                                         November 21, 2012

Black Charlie asked, “Can you spare some coin?”

A face has weathered as his clothes grinned devilishly at me,

He’d seen better days,

A sparkle played in those eyes of brown,

The camera was directed at a fish head in a shop in Chinatown,

“Can’t help you right now, my friend.” was my reply,

I returned his smile and we spoke for a moment,

At his query I offered my name and told him what I doing down there.


Exploring a neighborhood in this city of mine,

Letting the eye roam over the strange, the curious, the exotic, and the worn,

The camera catching these obscurities, flavours and wonderment,

As we bid each other good-bye,

Black Charlie turned and moved in closer still,

Arms reached out and he kissed my cheek,

“Thank you dear,” he whispered in my ear,

I returned the sentiment then we parted ways.

I watched for a moment as he held his hand out, “Can you spare some coin?”

He wandered down the street,

Black Charlie was invisible to most that passed him by,

A ghost from a lifetime ago,

Just a worn and withered shadow,

And I wondered what went wrong?

How was it that he found himself at the mercy of this blind society?

Begging for coin,

I wondered would the cash earned go for food,

Or would it buy a bottle to help him forget,

Just for a little while,

Why he was there.

And I wonder what’s to be done,

Shouldn’t be like this,

Yet it’s all around me.

I offer a sandwich and a coffee when I can,

Try to ease the burden if only for a moment.

Running through the driving rain,

I wondered if Black Charlie had found shelter,

From the oncoming storm,

A place warm and dry where he could rest his head,

Too many will feel the chill that sinks into the bone,

Too many forgotten in time,

Occupying doorways and sleeping under bridge decks,

Cardboard is their mattress and their walls,

Prayers offered up that are never answered,

In the cold of night,

Will they see dawn?

And I wonder what’s to be done?


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