I Wonder What Became of You

Glass looks out on Locust Street downtown

A symphony of feet, the steady beat goes down

Catcalls raise my eyes to see the view

I remember and wonder what became of you

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Rappin' and wavin', no sign of a frown

Hot sun can't deepen skin so brown

Window shopping for anything but blue

I remember and wonder what became of you

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Unyielding concrete under shoes like a clown

Takin' you nowhere, high, just hangin' around

Back to the cuckoo's nest from where you flew

I remember and wonder what became of you

==================================

Serenade with a love song, raindrops can't drown

Beneath a backwards cap hiding your crown

Altered state of courage belie the kisses you blew

I remember and wonder what became of you

==================================

Behind the glass, untouchable princess in a gown

Nameless hostages of our own private surround

But the mirror flips with a turn of the screw

I remember and wonder what became of you

==================================

Comments 29 comments

RealHousewife profile image

RealHousewife 4 years ago from St. Louis, MO

Amy I so wonder who you are thinking about! I love your poetry. And I really get a kick out of the familiarity to me...Locust street:).

There are a few people that this makes me think about. Did you ever see the guy that would - sort of dance down street...skipping, leaping and whirling with a pair of maracas? Clearly, he was in his own world. He was in a happy place though! I remember seeing a news piece about him - he was moving to another city. Quite a colorful guy - I had fun watching his little show! Lol. He was always around the area near Forest Park...the Zoo...like that.

Such thought provoking poetry! Up and everything!


A.A. Zavala profile image

A.A. Zavala 4 years ago from Texas

I always wonder about people who pop up in my memories, and wonder if they think of me as well. Mmm, now I'm wondering...


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 4 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

Real, I was so hoping you'd see this one as I knew you'd recognize the location. I always had a group of homeless men outside my window! They'd smile, rap on the window if I was engrossed in my work, sing to me, blow kisses or ask me to come out and talk with them when on my break. It reminded me of when I was a young teenager volunteering one day a week at Jefferson Barracks Hospital. The patients would seem fine one day, leaving me wondering why they were on the psych ward and the next week I'd be afraid to get on the elevator, as they were carrying on an animated conversation with themselves. This man was one that cruised by (on foot) almost daily and actually, I do wonder about what happened to him. He wasn't a known St. Louis character, but I knew him just from seeing him outside my window on the world. Thank you for coming by, RealHousewife. I always love to hear from you.


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 4 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

I think about several of the daily visitors I saw when I was working downtown, St. Louis. I knew they were o.k. in their fashion when I saw them. Now, that I no longer see them, I sometimes worry, because living on the streets is never good. The group I saw always had men that were hungry, cold in the winter and miserable in the hot, humid summers here. Many of them carried their belongings with them wherever they went. I'll never forget the young man who smiled at me and asked how I was, as I stood outside on a break. When I asked him the same, he took his hand away from his face and revealed a swollen, red cheek from a horrendous toothache. Yet, he was still smiling...I can't help but wonder and worry.


billybuc profile image

billybuc 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

Amy, you are just too good! You have to understand my dear that I am not a regular visitor to poetry sites; for whatever reason I am not a big fan of poetry. However, all of that is tossed aside when you write a poem. You have the ability to hold my attention and make me want more and that, my dear, is remarkable.

Fantastic job my friend!


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 4 years ago from South Africa

We never forget people who had made an impression on us. Always associate certain events/places/music with them, and wonder. This is why I am an active Facebooker - and so happy to be in contact with my distant relatives and friends, and absolutely thrilled when I discover one I've known in my childhood and will most probably never see again, but only on Facebook.

Love this poem, Amy!


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 4 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

Bill, my friend, I felt the same way about poetry until I started participating here. Poetry felt too convoluted, too obtuse, too much to decipher. Then, I read a few selections here and decided to try it. Sometimes, now, I find myself "thinking" in poetic verse. Best addiction ever! I have to say, plain and simple, but true, your words are a thrill. Your interest in my words makes my heart sing. You, my friend, have inspired me to reach further and write better. I can't think of a more meaninful gift.


Christopher Price profile image

Christopher Price 4 years ago from Vermont, USA

Any, this is wonderful! Absolutely, one of your best pieces to date.

Every word and phrase flow so naturally to the next, the rhythm and meter almost skipping...wistful yet lighthearted, bittersweet memories that make us smile.

This is a poem I shall return to enjoy again. Thank you for sharing this treasure with us.

CP


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 4 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

Dear Martie, Isn't it funny how certain people, even strangers, stay with us? I can't explain why one homeless man, among many, who I never exchanged more than a wave or a smile, would occupy a space in my mind. But, I do worry about those that I meet, especially those stoic souls who never complain, yet it is apparent to all that take the time to see, are suffering.

Thank you for leaving your beautiful message here for me, Martie.


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 4 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

Dear Christopher, You just made me feel like a kid at Christmas, leaving a beautiful surprise I hadn't expected.

Its uncanny that you say the piece has a natural flow, almost skipping rhythm, because this was too easy to write. It literally tripped off my mind. Natural, as the word you use.

And as the homeless man use to tell me when I smiled at him or waved, "you just made my day."


Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

Gypsy Rose Lee 4 years ago from Riga, Latvia

Voted up and awesome. There are people who come into our lives who we never can forget and then those who drift by and we wonder at times what could of happened to them. Great poem and love the Dylan video. Passing this on.


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 4 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

Thank you, Gypsy. (BTW, I wanted to mention that the comment I deleted above was simply an accidental repeat of my own to Christopher.)

I think I'm eccentric in the impact that a strangers ways, some treated like society's throwaways, touches me. One of the lady's I worked with on Locust Street regularly chastised me for talking to the homeless. She was fond of "rolling her eyes" at me. It seemed to make her angry that I continued. Thank you for your understanding. And, Dylan, he is one of my favorites.


kathryn1000 profile image

kathryn1000 4 years ago from London

I like it,Amy,Very like a song..you need a guitar!Kathryn


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 4 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

Thank you, kathryn. I can paint, but a musician I'm not! It would sure be a thrill, though, to hear my words put in a song.


breakfastpop profile image

breakfastpop 4 years ago

Your poetry speaks to me. It tells a vivid and compelling story and this is one of my favorites. Up and awesome.


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 4 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

Awww, thank you, breakfastpop! Your visits always do my heart good.


drbj profile image

drbj 4 years ago from south Florida

Your poetry is so tender and touching, Amy, I have to say,

You have me wondering about that guy and where he is today.

I heard he took over a corner on a busy downtown street,

Now he has a home, a bank account and plenty of food to eat.


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 4 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

Oh, drbj, I love your upbeat soul. I really do. I've considered that same scenario. It could happen. I hope so. What I do know is I'm sending you a big, warm hug right now.


always exploring profile image

always exploring 4 years ago from Southern Illinois

How very unique this is. A day at work, watching the people pass by and remembering. I love your poetry. This piece is something i can relate to....I'm wondering....Cheers


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 4 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

Oh, always exploring, you always say the nicest things. I think you hit the nail on the head about the stories writers weave. Sometimes the most natural, relatable writing comes from the most ordinary of experiences. The magic is all in the telling. You are an extraordinary writer, which makes your words to me all the more treasured.


RealHousewife profile image

RealHousewife 4 years ago from St. Louis, MO

Amy - I love that you're right here in St. Louis and I think I relate to you so well because we see the same kind of stuff!

We have so many homeless here...and what happened to Hopeville? Where did they relocate those folks, do you know?


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 4 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

Dear Real, I read an article in the RFT that told the story of a man who had lived in Hopeville. A Jewish, charitable organization helped him by giving him a camera. He went on to become a highly respected photographer in a short period of time, with a gallery exhibit of his work downtown. He decided to revisit Hopeville and got into an altercation with a resident and the former resident and photographer killed the homeless man at the encampment. Shortly thereafter, the camp was torn down. And the once homeless man, who'd risen to fame, now calls prison home.

I understand that Rev. Larry Rice is back in court over the dismantling of his latest endeavor, another tent camp near Hwy 44 near downtown. The businesses and homeowners object, and the city laws prohibit tent living due to the unsanitary living conditions inherent in situations where there are no plumbing facilities. It broke my heart when I saw the news and an undernourished, middle-aged black woman crying with the words "We are still human, too". Rev. Rice claims the dismantling was illegal since he wasn't present due to a service he was officiating. I don't think the city will ever allow another tent city. I remember reading that the Occupy movement was creating a miserable health hazard with the spread of tuberculosis, flu and diseases transmitted by fleas, as many brought their dogs.

I don't know the answers, Real, but I do know that the mayor has ousted groups of homeless from downtown parks via the police force, dumpstering legal medications for health conditions, and no viable solutions to place these people. His resolution seems to be invisibility so as not to impact tourism or business trade. With unemployment claims rising again, the problem continues to grow. I guess St. Louis will have to raise taxes so they can do like New York, and give the homeless a one-way ticket to Hawaii. My BFF says she encountered beaches full of tents housing the homeless during a brief visit about a year ago. I would imagine the cost of living in Hawaii prohibits eating for the homeless. From what I see, today mirrors the cruel words of Ebenezer Scrooge "If they don't like the poor houses, let them die and decrease the surplus population." At least, then, they had poor houses.


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon

Nice. Great use of color in this piece.


Minnetonka Twin profile image

Minnetonka Twin 4 years ago from Minnesota

I love the theme in this poem Amy. Wondering what happens to some people that pop into our lives. How are they doing, are they safe~and as you talk about the homeless man that you saw out your window~is he on medication and functioning these days or still out on the street finding his way. I hit many buttons.


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 4 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

PDK, I am so sorry I didn't get notice of your comment 3-weeks ago when you left it. Thank you for taking the time to read this and color my piece with your astute words.


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 4 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

Dear Minnetonka Twin, Since my layoff, my situation left me far too aware of the plight of the homeless. I am no longer looking out the glass onto Locust Street. With the economy so poor and job growth lagging in this area, crime has risen incrementally. The news tells daily shootings, especially downtown where I worked. Two days ago, 7 women leaving the stadium were robbed at gunpoint, with shots fired. I suppose the long time homeless learn tough lessons in taking cover, in many ways. I suspect, with so little real concrete help for the homeless and the dire straits of the economy, the idea of his survival seems less likely. My 13-years on Locust Street saw many sick, cold, hungry, homeless people. One morning when I arrived at work, an elderly homeless man was laying on the sidewalk unconscious from hypothermia in the bitter cold. Another morning, I heard a very young man coughing as if he had TB. I asked him if he was hungry as I made my way into the workplace and he said "yes, very." I told him to wait right there, ran in, gathered some of the abundant breakfast goodies in the lunchroom and ran them out to him. I saw enough misery that I never judged a regular who wandered by in an altered state. Few would choose sobriety in such a desolate life. The further one slips into poverty, the less wherewithall there is to climb out. It is all many of the homeless can do to merely survive from one day to the next.

Thank you so much for your kindness, my friend.


Minnetonka Twin profile image

Minnetonka Twin 4 years ago from Minnesota

Oh Amy-I'm sitting here with tears in my eyes. Life can be so cruel and sad for those with mental illness or other problems that lead to homelessness. You are such a loving and kind woman and I'm so glad God put you in those people's paths when they needed it. Off to get a kleenex now.


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 4 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

Oh, sweet friend, don't cry. All any of us can do is the best we can. I'm so glad I know you. You make my life so much better.


Minnetonka Twin profile image

Minnetonka Twin 4 years ago from Minnesota

AAWWWWW :-)

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