Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: GRATE (11/19/15)
- TITLE: Just Outside the Mission
By Donna Powers
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ADD TO MY FAVORITES
As I rummaged through trash for a meal.
Its frigid flakes frosted my forehead;
It deepened the sadness I feel.
I pushed my cart forward, toward nothing.
I clawed through my bags for a shawl.
I saw people pass and ignore me;
To them, I’m not human, at all.
I knew I should seek warmer shelter
But there was nowhere that I could go.
My “home” is a bittersweet mem’ry
I left there, a long time ago.
Ahead, I could see an oasis:
A subway grate; thank God! It’s warm!
I stopped and spread I cardboard on it
And hunkered down, to face the storm.
Below me, I hear distant thunder,
As trains rush through hundreds of holes.
One time, long ago, I rode subways
My life once had purpose and goals.
I’d sit on the seat, reading papers;
Look at texts, and yell into my phone
I had a name known in my business;
My good reputation was known.
Today, I’m “that bum on the sidewalk”
Folks pass me and try not to see
As snow settles, over my blankets
It’s easy to walk right by me.
Over there: there’s a sign: “Rescue Mission”
I’ve peeked in the mission, before.
Inside, it looked warm and inviting
Smells of soup wafted out, from the door.
I wondered what it might be like, there
What words they would say; if I came?
But I didn’t go in, I knew better.
All people will treat me the same.
That mission looks clean, and I’m dirty.
People walk in with smiles; I have none.
I doubt they would welcome me, in there
If they knew all the things I have done.
So, I’ll stay on this warm slice of heaven
Because it’s all the heaven I’ve got
If someone would ask me to go there
I might go – or, then, I might not.
For the warmth of the subways, below me
Is lulling me now to sweet rest
I won’t waste my time with vain wishes
I’ll just wrap my quilt ‘round my chest
For now I say good night, cold city
Good night, people rushing by me
I’m warm here; despite winter’s advent
And this is the best place for me.
Matthew 25:40 (KJV) "Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me."
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