Saturday, September 11, 2010


Poverty overwhelms me
garbage makes me spew
my body pangs, my stomach aches
I’m indigent, cold and crude

your bibles are a blessing
yet reading is a chore
when your illiterate, cold and hungry
and sleeping on a floor

your angels are angelic
in their omnipotent shades of white
yet I’m the shade of ashes
and demons rein my nights

I roam the streets of cities
I’m vagabond and whore
society looks down on me
your churches lock their doors

I’ll be your pure of spirit
I’ll sing a hymn or two
just bring some bread and water
old clothes a pair of shoes

your kingdom of heaven awaits you
your meek shall inherit the earth
you’ll rejoice and revile in your reward
for you are the salt of this earth

yet you don’t understand my fortitude
or acknowledge poverty’s pain
you turn your back when I appear
you fear my touch might stain

teach me the ancient scriptures
we’ll pray for me and you
then drag a box beneath a bridge
one big enough for two.

From the book "LISTEN"
by Shirley Howard Hall

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