Just A Tramp: a poem to honor our returned war veterans
This poem was included in a collection in 'Love And Other Muses' but a number of hubbers have suggested it should be published separately so here it is.
Food For Veterans
- Food for Veterans - Food Pantry | Feed Our Vets
The Mission of the Feed Our Vets food pantry organization is to provide nutritious food for Veterans in the US who are left on the battlefield of hunger.
Just A Tramp
by John Hansen © 2012
Sitting on a park bench
Watching life pass by,
Patches on his jacket,
Doesn't own a tie.
Tattered pants and worn out shoes,
A bottle of the cheapest booze.
He doesn't have a social class,
A sign says "Please Keep Off The Grass".
Once he dined on home cooked meals,
Roast chicken, apple pie,
Now he raids the litter bin,
He can't afford to buy.
Whatever happened to his life,
Son and daughter, darling wife,
Friends, especially best mate Bob,
Hobbies, pastimes, steady job.
No bank account, no home, no car,
Or soft warm featherbed,
No roof to keep the rain away,
No hat upon his head.
His pension cheque does not go far,
Donates it to the local bar.
Sometimes he dines at 'Meals on Wheels',
Depending on how well he feels.
His shabby looks and ragged clothes
Make people turn away.
Children ask,"Mum, who's that man?"
"He's just a tramp", she'll say.
Life is tough for poor old Jim,
There's not much love for tramps like him.
A friendly chat, a caring smile,
Would make his life much more worthwhile.
But caring people number few,
And most don't spare a thought.
This worn out soul upon the bench,
Once for his country fought.
A Short Story Based on This Poem
- Just a Humble Hero
A story about the human condition. We shouldn't be too quick to judge a person by their appearance without knowing their personal story. Life is not always just black and white.
Proud and brave and seventeen
He fought against a foe unseen,
Alongside mates and not alone,
But still a boy, so far from home.
Gunfire rang from out the trees,
But brave men stood their ground,
Advancing and returning fire
Despite that fearful sound.
All around him heroes fell,
Boys, now men, alone in hell.
No time to think of friends and lovers,
All these men were now Jim's brothers.
Finally the fighting ceased,
The war was won and lost.
The allied ships then headed home,
The sick and dead the cost.
A hero's welcome on the docks,
A pretty girl with golden locks,
A cheering crowd, a big brass band,
The champions of all the land.
In uniform, with head held high,
A medal on his chest,
Jim's greeted by his hometown friends,
They cheer that, "He's the best!"
But now his life is in the park,
Birds still sing, and dogs still bark,
Lovers stroll, and children play,
But a vagrant's life is not so gay.
Today old Jim is "just a tramp",
A champion no more.
He never sees a uniform,
Except that of the law.
The only token of his past
The medal on his chest,
Reminding him of days gone by,
When he was called "the best".
We Go On
Please support veterans by purchasing this anthology. These stories and poems tell of veteran's experiences of life after war and all proceeds go to charity. My story "Just a Humble hero" is included.
Theme song from my favorite childhood show.
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