Sunday, November 14, 2010

Where you walk by. (A Poem)

Photo courtesy of
Where you Walk By
©Louise Gallagher

You cannot see me
huddled here beneath
my cloak of invisibility
I wait
that one day you will
in a corner
on a street
down an alley
and know
I am not a mirage
not a bad dream
come to haunt you
or break you
to where
I am

You cannot see me
but I see you
walking by
averted eyes
disallowing my presence
to penetrate
the blanket
of your blind insistence
that this
this huddled presence
is not reality
pushing back
forcing me to retreat
into that place
where your
sweeping statements
clean up
the streets
of the likes of me.

You cannot see me
but can you see
this place
up against a wall
huddled under the blanket
of despair
where lost and forgotten dreams
blanket reality
in the nightmare
of my life
on promises
to take care
of my humanity.

When will you see
that my being here
is not by choice
I’d rather be anywhere
but here
but here
I am
there is
no other place
for me
to be
is the outcome
of the things
you've done
I've done
we've done
to create a world
where poverty
the life
I coulda' had
if I had only had
the chance
to be
of this place
where I am
beneath my blanket
on the street
where you walk by
without seeing
Today's poem is inspired by the photo and word prompt over at One Stop Poetry. Three photos were offered up to inspire writers and artists to meditate and create on the word -homelessness.
To read other offerings (and they are powerful) please visit One Stop Poetry.


Maureen said...

Beautifully written, Louise.


Claudia said...

the blanket of despair...not a nice blanket to be wrapped sensitively put the words into the mouth of those who won't speak..

S. Etole said...

a blanket that never seems to wear out ... only the people it covers

Brian Miller said...

whew...i felt this hard to feel so forgotten...

gospelwriter said...

A sad scene you paint, a sad life all but erased (if passersby and city hall had their way). I found this particularly evocative:

huddled under the blanket
of despair
where lost and forgotten dreams
blanket reality
in the nightmare
of my life

libithina said...

blanketed out ~ sucked the life ~ how poverty strikes ~ a wonderful take on this prompt ~ and horrible plight

Gigi Ann said...

That blanket of despair, just jumps out from that poor huddled person on the sidewalk.

As sad as it is, I think we all at times try not to look at the homeless as we walk or drive by them.

Glynn said...

Powerful poem, Louise.

Allie said...

There's a downward spiral that is evident in this piece. In one instance, it's the language used, but also the shape of the poem.
Regarding the language: At first, there is hope and dreams, but the repetition of some key words, 'despair', 'huddled', and the recurring theme of the homeless person being invisible takes us closer to the psyche of what it must feel like.

Reflections said...

How often we forget to look beyond the cloak of invisibility... to see that which makes us uncomfortable.

Anonymous said...

Wow Louise! Very well put :) Thank you for giving a voice to those who feel they no longer have one. Diana

Anonymous said...

a soul stirring poem.

i earnestly wish that their lives changed for better.

may be if we all collectively try it can, or our governments sincerely try.