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A River of Mercy

Updated on December 18, 2014
AudreyHowitt profile image

Audrey is a poet, classical singer and voice teacher, recovering attorney and licensed psychotherapist.

Nasa-Taken with the Hubble telescope
Nasa-Taken with the Hubble telescope | Source




i look out from behind scarred lids

to the twinkling of lights

in the square in front of me,

a haze.


i am the one you do not see

or see only through filters,

“addict” chief among them.


i am the one you hope never to become,

as you walk quickly

clothed in designer’s dreams.


i am tired,

the bench beneath me unforgiving,

a cruel combination of wood and iron,

making sleep elusive.


i am cold,

it seeps in

through my seven layers

into crevices that ache.


the light shines between us sometimes,

acosmic pathway

upon which mercy runs.


I see it more often than you do.


And tonight, as you pass by me,

The mercy runs toward you

As I send my prayer out to you,

Hoping that you might see that light

Sometime,

Fit it into your schedule,

Somewhere between lunch and a shoe shine.


copyright/all rights reserved Audrey Howitt 2012


Please consider making a donation to a homeless shelter this holiday season.

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    • janshares profile image

      Janis Leslie Evans 4 years ago from Washington, DC

      Awesome, Audrey. Poignant. It resonates with me as I get up at 5:15am on Saturdays to do my part to make a difference at the breakfast ministry. I will have to share my poems about homelessness soon. I could feel your words as I read them. Up, awesome, and beautiful. Thank you. Salute!

    • xstatic profile image

      Jim Higgins 4 years ago from Eugene, Oregon

      This is a beautiful plea Audrey, and one that should move some hearts, some eyes to look around and pay attention to the ones so much less fortunate than many of us are.

    • whonunuwho profile image

      whonunuwho 4 years ago from United States

      Thank you for reminding us that there are many who do not have even a few basics that are need to survive in the world today, and how blessed we ate to have something, whonu

    • AudreyHowitt profile image
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      Audrey Howitt 4 years ago from California

      Thank you Janshares!

    • AudreyHowitt profile image
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      Audrey Howitt 4 years ago from California

      HI Exstatic! Thank you for reading it!

    • AudreyHowitt profile image
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      Audrey Howitt 4 years ago from California

      Thank you for reading whonunuwho--I so appreciate it!

    • Louisa Rogers profile image

      Louisa Rogers 4 years ago from Eureka, California and Guanajuato, Mexico

      Audrey, thank you for letting me see that the those without and poor have just as much widsom and awareness as others. Maybe more.

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      Christy Birmingham 4 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Wow Audrey, this is one of my faves of yours so far! 'scarred lids' - great image and metaphor. Vote up and happy to share.

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 4 years ago from southern USA

      Powerful write, as my eyes have been open to see those who are downtrodden and homeless. We all have a choice to see them or not to see them, and then what . . . I have written on this very subject, as that is where my heart is, to show mercy as I have been shown by Him.

      Voted up+++ and sharing

      In His Love, Faith Reaper

    • Mhatter99 profile image

      Martin Kloess 4 years ago from San Francisco

      Thank you for this. I have nothing against love. But I sense there is something wrong when people group mercy, charity and love under one heading. So I'm grateful for this. Bless you

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 4 years ago from Nashville Tn.

      Oh, Audrey - this is so powerful! I fought back tears as I read each line. You have inspired me to be more aware and giving to the homeless.

      You are an amazing and beautiful poet. I save each one in a special folder. This one is your best yet. Voted up and across except for funny and sharing. Hugs.

    • midget38 profile image

      Michelle Liew 4 years ago from Singapore

      A good one for the season, Audrey. We all need that river of mercy to flow towards us. Certainly sharing!

    • btrbell profile image

      Randi Benlulu 4 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      Wow! Powerful words for a powerfully important issue. Thank you for sharing this! up, awesome and sharing!

    • HoneyBB profile image

      Honey Halley 4 years ago from Illinois

      So insightful and awesomely put together. An eye-opener for many. Thanks for sharing. Voted ++

    • Nellieanna profile image

      Nellieanna Hay 4 years ago from TEXAS

      Audrey - the beauty of your poem is rivaled only by the majesty of its message.

      Beautiful, beautiful. I agree with Audrey Hunt (whose recommendation led me to read it) that it is "poem to remember now and always ~".

      You've captured the essence of what this season of giving really is about.

    • LaThing profile image

      LaThing 4 years ago from From a World Within, USA

      Beautiful with a powerful message, Audrey! Very thought provoking, and to actually see the homeless in the streets is just heartrending! Thanks for this wonderful piece..... Voting up an awesome!

    • Life Iz Beautiful profile image

      Salini 4 years ago from India

      A thoughtful poem and an eye opener for many of us...

      voted useful.

      Have a great day.

    • sherrituck profile image

      Sherri Tuck 4 years ago from Virginia

      Simply beautiful.

    • Jools99 profile image

      Jools99 4 years ago from North-East UK

      Audrey, thought provoking, moving and sent with a clear message. Voted up and shared etc.

    • ImKarn23 profile image

      Karen Silverman 4 years ago

      I leave this comment as the chills leave my spine! This was simply...perfect Audrey..leaving me without many words! I sooo want actions to take the place of words from now on anyways - as clearly - you do as well..

      voting/loving/sharing - and H.O.W!

    • arb profile image

      arb 4 years ago from oregon

      What can I say, "Mercy triumphs over judgment". Perhaps a tattoo inked upon the brow of mankind so that we can not hide from it?

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      Audrey Howitt 4 years ago from California

      Thank you Louisa for reading this piece and for your thoughtful comments!

    • Nikkij504gurl profile image

      Nikkij504gurl 4 years ago from Louisiana

      very moving!

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      Audrey Howitt 4 years ago from California

      Thank you Christy! I am so glad that you enjoyed this one!

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      Audrey Howitt 4 years ago from California

      Hi Faith Reaper! Thank you! And I hope all is well in your world!

    • Deborah Brooks profile image

      Deborah Brooks Langford 4 years ago from Brownsville,TX

      Audrey what a poem.. I LOVE It my dear.. the title is wonderful.. it caught my eye right away.. I applaud you and I am sharing

      Debbie

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      Laura Tykarski 4 years ago from Pittsburgh PA

      Audrey lovely piece your work always touches me deeply...being able to see within a major social issue and have it in you for a call to arms done lyrically and with grace is a rare gift. Thank-you.

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      Mike Pugh 4 years ago from New York City

      Mind blowing poem here Audrey, you have managed to sweep the entire universe into it without even mentioning the word, and then bring it all down to earth as well and with such poetical poise.

      I loved reading this one, and commend you on holding your digital tongue Hehe :)

      Thumbs up and out for sure, oh and I like the holiday donation suggestion towards the end that was cool of you to place there too. Sweet!

    • AudreyHowitt profile image
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      Audrey Howitt 4 years ago from California

      Thank you Martin--I am pleased that this piece struck you in that way.

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      Audrey Howitt 4 years ago from California

      Thank you Vocalcoach! I am pleased that you enjoyed this piece.

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      Audrey Howitt 4 years ago from California

      Hi Michelle! Thank you!

    • Ruchira profile image

      Ruchira 4 years ago from United States

      Wow...it is beautiful and heart rendering.

      Awesome, Audrey!

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 4 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Audrey, so beautiful, many turn and look the other way. Thank you. The Salvation Army houses men and women who have fallen through the so called 'cracks.'.Cheers my friend.

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 4 years ago from south Florida

      This is thoughtful and powerful, Audrey, and expecially appropriate for this time of year.

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      Mary Hyatt 4 years ago from Florida

      What beauty in your words. Hopefully, we will do more to help the helpless people in our society.

      I voted this UP, and will share.

    • AudreyHowitt profile image
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      Audrey Howitt 4 years ago from California

      Thank you btrbell!

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      Audrey Howitt 4 years ago from California

      Thank you HoneyBB!

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      Audrey Howitt 4 years ago from California

      Oh Nellieanna--thank you!

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      Valleypoet 4 years ago

      Thank you for this timely message, in poetry, for the season of giving. A poem can convey a message in a way other mediums cannot, especially when written by a poet as talented as you..thanks for sharing Audrey:-))

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      Audrey Howitt 4 years ago from California

      Thank you LaThing!!

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      Audrey Howitt 4 years ago from California

      Thank you so much Life IZ!

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      Audrey Howitt 4 years ago from California

      Thank you sherrituck!

    • Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

      Gypsy Rose Lee 4 years ago from Riga, Latvia

      Voted up and awesome. It's the importance in this life that we are open to giving, sharing and especially kindness and understanding. Love your last line so it inspired me to say: perhaps someday the world will join hands all around the globe if it doesn't get stuck

      Somewhere between lunch and a shoe shine. Hugs and hope your holiday will be great. Passing this on.

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 4 years ago from Shelton

      wow what a sad.. but beautiful tribute to the homeless... i am set in the perfect giving mood when you described his place of slumber.. the cold hard bench... bless you Audrey :)

    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 4 years ago from Dubai

      Your poem so well expresses the feelings and thoughts of the helpless and poor. It touched my heart. Very true some people just pass by without even blinking an eye, choosing to see only what they want, blind to people on the other side. Voted up and shared. Awesome.

    • LadyFiddler profile image

      Joanna Chandler 4 years ago from On planet Earth

      Nice poem Audrey

      Keep up the good work

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 4 years ago from New York

      This one needs a "powerful button"....how could anyone read these beautiful words and not be touched by the inhumanity around us? Frank is right, a beautiful tribute to the homeless. God Bless you.

      Voted up, awesome, and beautiful!!

    • tobusiness profile image

      Jo Alexis-Hagues 4 years ago from Bedfordshire, U.K

      Audrey, this is a poignant and timely reminder to open our eyes and see the pain around us and don't just look away. heartfelt and beautiful.

    • AudreyHowitt profile image
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      Audrey Howitt 4 years ago from California

      Thank you Jools!

    • AudreyHowitt profile image
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      Audrey Howitt 4 years ago from California

      Thank you Leslie!

    • AudreyHowitt profile image
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      Audrey Howitt 4 years ago from California

      Maybe so arb! Thank you!

    • AudreyHowitt profile image
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      Audrey Howitt 4 years ago from California

      Hi Nikkij! Thank you!

    • AudreyHowitt profile image
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      Audrey Howitt 4 years ago from California

      Thank you Debbie!

    • AudreyHowitt profile image
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      Audrey Howitt 4 years ago from California

      Thank you for reading it LauraD!!

    • AudreyHowitt profile image
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      Audrey Howitt 4 years ago from California

      Oh Mike! Thank you!

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      ExoticHippieQueen 4 years ago

      Beautifully expressed, Audrey. "A cosmic pathway

      Upon which mercy runs."

    • profile image

      Janhorner 4 years ago

      This is a reality check for all who read and digest the message. Loved the line, 'Clothed in designer’s dreams.' You ar a very gifted writer. Voted up,

      Jan

    • Olde Cashmere profile image

      Olde Cashmere 4 years ago from Michigan, United States

      Wow, I enjoyed this poem. Beautiful wording and a thought provoking message. Voting up, sharing, and rating across (except funny).

    • profile image

      AudraLeigh 4 years ago

      I wish people had just a little bit of time to make the differenxe in another's life...make them a priority. I hope I got this right from your words...so powerful!

    • AudreyHowitt profile image
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      Audrey Howitt 4 years ago from California

      Thank you Ruchira! I so appreciate so visit!

    • AudreyHowitt profile image
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      Audrey Howitt 4 years ago from California

      Thank you Ruby! I hope all is well in your world!

    • kashmir56 profile image

      Thomas Silvia 4 years ago from Massachusetts

      A very beautifully written poem with a wonderful message !

    • AudreyHowitt profile image
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      Audrey Howitt 4 years ago from California

      Thank you so much drbj!

    • AudreyHowitt profile image
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      Audrey Howitt 4 years ago from California

      Thank you Mary!

    • AudreyHowitt profile image
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      Audrey Howitt 4 years ago from California

      Thank you Valleypoet!

    • Dim Flaxenwick profile image

      Dim Flaxenwick 4 years ago from Great Britain

      Absolutely stunning....... beautiful word formation that had me quessing for a while.

      The ending brought me to tears. Totally beautiful.

    • AudreyHowitt profile image
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      Audrey Howitt 4 years ago from California

      Thank you for reading this one Gypsy Rose Lee!

    • AudreyHowitt profile image
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      Audrey Howitt 4 years ago from California

      Hi Frank! Thank you!

    • AudreyHowitt profile image
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      Audrey Howitt 4 years ago from California

      Hi Vellur!! Thank you!

    • AudreyHowitt profile image
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      Audrey Howitt 4 years ago from California

      Thank you so much LadyFiddler!

    • AudreyHowitt profile image
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      Audrey Howitt 4 years ago from California

      Thank you so much tillsonitan for reading this and for your lovely comments--

    • AudreyHowitt profile image
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      Audrey Howitt 4 years ago from California

      Thank you tobusiness~

    • AudreyHowitt profile image
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      Audrey Howitt 4 years ago from California

      Thank you ExoticHippieQueen!

    • jhamann profile image

      Jamie Lee Hamann 4 years ago from Reno NV

      Beautiful poem Audrey. Merry Christmas. Jamie

    • AudreyHowitt profile image
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      Audrey Howitt 4 years ago from California

      Thank you Jan!

    • AudreyHowitt profile image
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      Audrey Howitt 4 years ago from California

      Thank you Olde! I am glad that you enjoyed this one!

    • Break of Dawn profile image

      Break of Dawn 4 years ago

      Beautiful and moving! Definitely passing this one along!

    • AudreyHowitt profile image
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      Audrey Howitt 4 years ago from California

      Hi Audra! Thank you!!

    • AudreyHowitt profile image
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      Audrey Howitt 4 years ago from California

      Tom, thank you so much!

    • AudreyHowitt profile image
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      Audrey Howitt 4 years ago from California

      Thank you so much Dim!

    • phdast7 profile image

      Theresa Ast 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      Oh, Audrey. My eyes are full of tears, as they should be. Powerful, honest, beautiful, compelling, tragic. A perfect poem and a perfect plea and reminder that we truly "see" and reach out to those who need help. There but for the grace of God....

      May you and your family have a Blessed Christmas this year. ~~Theresa

    • AudreyHowitt profile image
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      Audrey Howitt 4 years ago from California

      Thank you Jamie! Happy Holidays to you!

    • AudreyHowitt profile image
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      Audrey Howitt 4 years ago from California

      Thank you Sannel!

    • vespawoolf profile image

      vespawoolf 4 years ago from Peru, South America

      This is a touching tribute to the homeless. We can all make a difference, and not just during the Christmas season. Another beautiful poem! Thank you!

    • TToombs08 profile image

      Terrye Toombs 4 years ago from Somewhere between Heaven and Hell without a road map.

      Audrey, very beautifully written. So many poems are written about the presence or appearance of the homeless...but so few take the perspective OF the homeless. Nicely done.

    • epigramman profile image

      epigramman 4 years ago

      ..well that is a title to die for - and the words which follow obviously show you to be a writer's writer and a poet's poet .... to be admired and cherished by all of us here at the Hub.

      I am sending you warm wishes for your continued health, happiness and prosperity in the new year

      lake erie time ontario canada 3:18pm

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      Audrey Howitt 4 years ago from California

      Thank you Theresa!

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      Rajan Singh Jolly 4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

      Very touching and moving piece of poetry Audrey. We need to give a thought about doing whatever we can for them.

      voted up, beautiful and awesome.

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      anglnwu 4 years ago

      Lovely and poignant. Thanks for sharing.

    • rasta1 profile image

      Marvin Parke 4 years ago from Jamaica

      Very Beautiful and calming. Good job of expressing the sensory perception from someone else's point of view.

    • AudreyHowitt profile image
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      Audrey Howitt 4 years ago from California

      Thank you vespawoolf!

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      Audrey Howitt 4 years ago from California

      Happy new year to you as well epi man!! And thank you for your continued support!

    • AudreyHowitt profile image
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      Audrey Howitt 4 years ago from California

      Thank you so much Rajan!

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      ryanjhoe 4 years ago from Somewhere over the rainbow

      Wonderful poems! I capture you express your feeling when feel tired maybe after doing daily activities. Well done, excellent thought!

    • AudreyHowitt profile image
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      Audrey Howitt 4 years ago from California

      Hi anglnwu! Thank you!!

    • AudreyHowitt profile image
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      Audrey Howitt 4 years ago from California

      Thank you rasta1!

    • AudreyHowitt profile image
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      Audrey Howitt 4 years ago from California

      Thank you so much ryanjhoe!

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      Movie Master 4 years ago from United Kingdom

      A powerful and thought provoking poem Audrey, thank you, voting up and awesome.

      Best wishes Lesley

    • Anna Haven profile image

      Anna Haven 4 years ago from Scotland

      This poem is by far my favourite of your very talented works. Your perspective as the homeless person managed to portray the discrimination many face, the hardships they endure and finally their still lingering hope in the goodness of humanity. I thought it was outstanding.

    • AudreyHowitt profile image
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      Audrey Howitt 4 years ago from California

      Thank you so much Movie Master!

    • AudreyHowitt profile image
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      Audrey Howitt 4 years ago from California

      Thank you Anna for taking the time to dig this one and read it!

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      Dana Strang 4 years ago from Ohio

      This is so beautiful... My MOTHER IS HOMELESS. I try so hard to help her. She mkes it so difficult because she does all the wrong things and none of the right ones. The awful thing is that she thinks she is doing it right. It is so hard to see....

      Those homeless people you see, many of them are good people. Many of them are mentally ill. They have burned all their bridges and are left with nothing. Many of them are no better at caring for themselves than children. It is sad...

      It angers me so much that there are not working systems in place to address this. We can search for water on Mars, yet we cannot care for the people on this earth. :(

    • AudreyHowitt profile image
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      Audrey Howitt 4 years ago from California

      Hi Dana--Thank you for reading this piece and for your frank comments--it is so very hard--so many of the homeless are mentally ill and when we closed down mental health in the 70s there was literally no where for them to go for help--there still isn't

    • Harishprasad profile image

      Harish Mamgain 3 years ago from India

      Audrey, What a wonderful poem, my friend. Mercy is such a beautiful word and this poem illustrates it in such an excellent manner. Really, empathy is all that required considering the misery we witness daily. Thanks and all peace.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 3 years ago from Southern Illinois

      I forgot how beautiful this was. It made me sad once again. Thank you for a caring heart Audrey..

    • mary615 profile image

      Mary Hyatt 2 years ago from Florida

      I feel so bad for the homeless people. We have many in our area. "But for the grace of God, go I"

      Very sad poem, but very true.

    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 2 years ago from Dubai

      A beautiful poem, so well expressed through your wonderful poem. The river of mercy must flow throughout our world. Great write.

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 2 years ago from England

      A beautiful poem and oh so darn true! how many people really do see those poor people who live out in the rain? not many, sadly. Wonderful poem, voted up and shared, nell

    • goodnews11 profile image

      OSBERT JOEL C 2 years ago from CHENNAI

      Awesome poem... Voted up!!

    • jhamann profile image

      Jamie Lee Hamann 2 years ago from Reno NV

      Powerful words Audrey. Jamie

    • Sunnyglitter profile image

      Sunnyglitter 2 years ago from Cyberspace

      This was beautiful.

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 2 years ago from london

      Amazing poetry. I wonder if he/she was a poet and had such a placard standing on display, what would happen? Smiles.

    • Sunshine625 profile image

      Linda Bilyeu 2 years ago from Orlando, FL

      Somewhere between lunch and a shoe shine...awesome poem!

    • lisavanvorst profile image

      Lisa VanVorst 2 years ago from New Jersey

      A beautiful and powerful poem of letting compassion and empathy rule over self indulgence and looking the other way. We often think of ourselves and don't always think of the pain those around us may be experiencing.

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      ArtDiva 2 years ago

      Those "street people," a growing number of seniors, more than many even know. Yes, where is the mercy? Perhaps, in your poem, in that you saw. A sadness comes over me reading this. Very nicely expressed.

    • phdast7 profile image

      Theresa Ast 2 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      Audrey- Just as wonderful and strong and tue a poem tonight as it was 24 months ago. Blessings and Merry Christmas. Theresa

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 2 years ago from Houston, Texas

      So glad that I saw this on tsu and came here to read it. Good reminder to do what we can to help those who are in dire need of it not only at this time of year, but always. Happy to share.

    • PurvisBobbi44 profile image

      PurvisBobbi44 2 years ago from Florida

      Audrey,

      You are one of the best poets on the Internet, and I hope you have written books of poems. If so brag about them on Google+ and tell me and I will put them on my Pinterest board about Sharing Great Writing from Friends.

      Bobbi Purvis

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      Audrey Howitt 2 years ago from California

      Thank you Bobbi!! I so appreciate your kind words

    • AudreyHowitt profile image
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      Audrey Howitt 2 years ago from California

      Thank you Linda!!

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      Audrey Howitt 23 months ago from California

      Thank you Harishprasad!

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      Audrey Howitt 23 months ago from California

      Thank you Ruby! Hope you are well!

    • AudreyHowitt profile image
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      Audrey Howitt 23 months ago from California

      Thank you Theresa!

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      Audrey Howitt 22 months ago from California

      Thank you Mary!

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      Audrey Howitt 21 months ago from California

      Thank you goodnews11

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      Audrey Howitt 20 months ago from California

      Thank you Vellur!

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      Audrey Howitt 20 months ago from California

      Hi Jamie--hope your summer is going well

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      Audrey Howitt 16 months ago from California

      smiles to you manatita!

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      Audrey Howitt 16 months ago from California

      It is a sad thing ArtDiva--yes, we have a lot of elders in my community and some are homeless

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      Audrey Howitt 16 months ago from California

      Hi Peggy--hope you are well--and thank you!

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      Audrey Howitt 15 months ago from California

      Thank you Nell Rose!

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      Audrey Howitt 15 months ago from California

      Thank you Sunnyglitter

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      Audrey Howitt 13 months ago from California

      Thank you lisavanvorst

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