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Sleeping Arrangements

I have known numerous homeless:
here for a while, most move on.
If you talk about them,
Tell it right or tell it not.

Just find an overhang,
a space for crawling in,
a doorway to an establishment
where somebody says, “Okay.”

Pulled each day by necessity’s
gravitation, each lodger
seeks a place for night-long rest,
before getting on the next day.

Like boy scouts on a weekend trip,
many sleep in the open air.
A few have a bed inside somewhere,
but many roll up in a sleeping bag.

Billy D is not a pleasant person.
“Life sucks,” is his appraisal.
“You ask where I sleep at night?
Right here, in my godamned wheelchair.”

He leans back rigidly defiant,
speaks his mind, keeps
direct eye contact, beyond deception,
no frills of customary propriety.

“Right here on this stinking sidewalk.
Nobody takes care of me.
An extra buck would be a sign
of your genuine concern.”

 

By Carroll C. Kearly '52, from Deity-Alphabets

Summer 2011

See all articles from this issue

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