A Homeless Lush Life


You’d think it was the hungry belly food I miss most.
Or the glass of water.
Ice-clinking tall glass of water next to my bed.

Not gonna happen in the swirls of the incandescent orange night wind blowing fits and starts beneath the rumbling roar traffic zooming past on he highway above.

While I am huddled close down here.
Grabbing moments of sleep as if they were diamonds.
You’d think it was the hunger.
But I ate yesterday.
In the basement of the church.
And that’s enough.
What I miss is feeling useful.
Useful.
Like I matter

Yesterday I helped unload the truck.
Cardboard smells carrying carrots and bruised apples.
Just for a moment I was helping.
And it tasted even warmer than the creamed chicken and rice.
Didn’t even need the hot sauce,
To help me taste again a memory
That I am alive.

And yes there once was a lush life.
When a week in Paris, could ease the pain of it.
Or even just a weekend.
A time to take a break from being useful.
Monday through Friday.
Nine to five.

Before she left,
And the days became empty, random winds,
I think I might have been a teacher.
There were smiles and eyes that lit up like brilliant rainbows,
Spectacular light shouting, “I get what you are saying, something is different now, something has shifted here.”
Back when I was useful.

There wasn’t one special moment that it stopped.
Like her hand on the door knob moment when she said,
“I wished it could have been different.”

There was instead a gradual slip sliding
Walking up hill on ice
Looking for the next safe bridge
Where I could hide and try sleep again
Once I was useful
And I miss that most of all.

2 Responses to “A Homeless Lush Life”

  1. Ted Schneider Says:

    Roger,

    I think that is what most honest people want is to be useful, perhaps even to make a difference in the workplace or community or in the lives of others. Having a positive impact on something or someone, feel some dignity and respect and be treated like a human being should be treated – this should not be too much to ask for.

  2. Paul Haider Says:

    Roger, you are a poet and now you know it! He is our neighbor, as all men are brothers. President Johnson’s war on poverty in 1964 will always be more noble than the “war on the poor” that was initiated in 1981 by St. Ray-gun (“Ray” refers to the rays of sunshine/smoke that Douche, uh, Dutch blew up the fat butts of the gullible American people for 8 painful years, and “gun” refers to Ronnie’s unwavering support for NRA lunatics in spite of the fact that he was nearly killed by a gun on March 30, 1981). In the end, we are judged by how we treat the least among us in society, as you can tell a lot about a man’s character by how he treats those who are defenseless and vulnerable. I would hate to be where Reagan resides now eternally without a fully functioning air conditioner.

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