The Abandoned

moaning prayers
and profanities
receding under bridges
highway entrances,
dumpster diving
for foam boxes
shoes and canes
and the flicker
of mercy
of an orange cigarette butt
to keep pushing stuffed
shopping carts with sheets,
coats on top of cans
on top of garbage bags
rattling below
a spotless, waving
American flag

– B. Brown

(The face of homelesness by Lee Jeffries)

6 thoughts on “The Abandoned

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  1. Love it! How well you put words together to craft a poem with such a powerful message against so much human injustice. You pay a more than deserved homage to the very oppressed, abandoned, homeless people. You really listen to their cries. Love the end of the poem as it comes as a bang!, the irony of “a spotless, waving/American flag.”

  2. Also, I love the photograph by Lee Jeffries, beautiful and sad at the same time. The face of homelessness is predominantly black. This is a real shock as a European like me visiting places like Tenderloin in San Francisco and Oakland’s Lake Merritt’s bridge. In Catalonia, even in the Barcelona area, we do not have so many homeless people even though poverty is increasing. It is all due to bloody global capitalism that destroys human relationships at all levels and causes so much poverty. Thank God we have poetry, literature, photography and all the arts to denounce injustice. You are a great poet. You have touched my heart.

    1. We have a lot of homeless where I live. A man who’d been roaming the streets for a while (I’ve spotted him on more than one occasion) stopped and chatted with me about history, culture and war. I could tell he was a brilliant, heartfelt man, the way he spoke of his country and people, but somewhere a long the way, he’s devotion and efforts were forgotten. He was forgotten and it saddened me. But he was still smiling, happy and passionate about what he was speaking about and even thanked me for chatting him. I haven’t seen him since that day but he’s stayed in my heart and mind. I agree with you about human relationships. I rack my brain trying to understand how our race has become so divided, so careless.

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