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Memorial Park A Poem

Updated on May 2, 2017

Five hundred steps from my front door

Across vacant lots, around the bend

There in the distance, a monument of war

Not of soldiers with weapons or blood on their hands

No orphans or widows who mourn

But trash and debris, trails of bottles and cans

I rest on a bench where the homeless sleep

On nights when warm breezes soothe the pain in their bones

But yet in their dreams the hurt is deep

I swear I can feel the break in their psyche

From love lost, a tattered life, the good that slipped far, so far from their grip

Sounds of the train rolling through town

Bringing them here at the end of their trip

From riding the rails to search for a meal

And beg for a dime from men wearing silk

Feeling a tear drop down my face, my head starts to reel

Five hundred steps from my front door.


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  • fpherj48 profile image

    Paula 2 weeks ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    Hi Nell......Why, yes this did come from my heart~~Is there any other way to write? Love ya, Paula

  • Nell Rose profile image

    Nell Rose 2 weeks ago from England

    Oh wow! Paula! so strong and so true! that came from the heart didn't it? what a great poem, nice one!

  • fpherj48 profile image

    Paula 3 weeks ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    "living ALONE".....not along....however both are accurate. I'm obsessive about typos! Well OK, typos & a lot of other things.

  • fpherj48 profile image

    Paula 3 weeks ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    Well Mike, Thank you so much for the gracious complement. Such kindness has been along means I have to boost my own ego & tell myself how wonderful I am. ( I may overdo it a bit~I asked myself out the other night..:) What a bummer. I came home alone...................Take care, Mike! Paula

  • mckbirdbks profile image

    mckbirdbks 3 weeks ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

    Hello Paula - I have read this piece a couple of times now. You managed to capture a loneliness that is widely known but not relayed with such grace. So many have fallen through the ever widening mesh of the safety net.

    Beyond that, this is poignant, relevant and rewarding.

  • fpherj48 profile image

    Paula 3 weeks ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    Larry & Debangee.........So nice of you to stop by with sweet comments! Thanks.

  • Larry Rankin profile image

    Larry Rankin 3 weeks ago from Oklahoma

    Wonderful read!

  • Debangee Mandal profile image

    DEBANGEE MANDAL 3 weeks ago from India

    A talented piece of touching poem . Keep it up!

  • fpherj48 profile image

    Paula 3 weeks ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    Randy, Yves, Flourish and Chris.....So good to see you all and I thank you for your sincere remarks. We have so much to be grateful for, especially wonderful friends....Here's to the simple things in life. Hugs & Peace.

  • cam8510 profile image

    Chris Mills 3 weeks ago from St. Louis, MO until the end of June, 2017

    It's all right there in front of us and not so far away, isn't it? You've captured the emotion of helplessness of those who observe the homeless and have no clue what to do about it.

  • FlourishAnyway profile image

    FlourishAnyway 3 weeks ago from USA

    Beautifully expressed. You have a real talent for poetry. Many people are a paycheck or two away from the streets.

  • savvydating profile image

    savvydating 3 weeks ago

    Homelessness can happen to anyone, if fate sees to it to break our hearts. A beautiful poem, Paula. You delivered this piece so well. Thank you for tackling this difficult subject with such finesse and compassion. You have moved many hearts, hopefully to act in some small way to ease the pain of our fellow man.

  • btrbell profile image

    Randi Benlulu 3 weeks ago from Mesa, AZ

    So beautifully expressed and such a sad situation. What a shame that homelessness is so prevalent in our country. Thank you for sharing and reminding us.

  • fpherj48 profile image

    Paula 3 weeks ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    Bro, Anne, pop, Ruby, Vasantha & Dora.....For all of us who see this void in society, & know what came before~may we always strive to bring hope & comfort to these forgotten souls, until their lives are repaired. Not one man should suffer in a country of plenty.

    It is never enough to see with our eyes....until we act with our hearts.

  • MsDora profile image

    Dora Isaac Weithers 3 weeks ago from The Caribbean

    Thanks for reminding us that these human beings are there even though we may not see them more than five hundred steps from our doors. God poem, Paula, and very meaningful.

  • vasantha  T k profile image

    vasantha T k 3 weeks ago from Bangalore

    Nice poem, we need to just pray to Almighty to give strength to those homeless and hopeless to bear and hope for the better days and bring smiles on their faces.

  • always exploring profile image

    Ruby Jean Fuller 3 weeks ago from Southern Illinois

    Oh Paula, this is so sad but a reality in most every town. I wonder how this can happen in our land of plenty? " And beg for a dime from men wearing silk. " is the line that should open our eye's. Beautiful poetry that sends a message, if only ears will listen?

  • breakfastpop profile image

    breakfastpop 3 weeks ago

    The homeless and hopeless are everywhere, whether it's just a block beyond a posh Manhattan street or a block from the beach. Far too many of us shut our eyes to the sadness on their faces.

  • bac2basics profile image

    Anne 3 weeks ago from Spain

    Dear Paula.

    There but for the grace of god ! Who knows how many of us could end up on that bench 500 steps from your front door. xx

  • billybuc profile image

    Bill Holland 3 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

    I think, Sis, this really sums up what many of us feel about the homeless. These are real people, not cardboard cutouts, and each of them had a life, has memories, had dreams, living, breathing souls ignored, forgotten, lost....I don't have a solution but I do have heartache. Thank you for writing this, dear lady.

  • fpherj48 profile image

    Paula 3 weeks ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    Manatita, Martie, Jodah,Shannon, Maria & Devika....I thank each of you for your thoughtful comments. I hope my words will awaken those who are unable to see the pain & the loss, mere steps away from where we have comforts. We can offer so much.

  • DDE profile image

    Devika Primić 3 weeks ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

    It is sad! In Croatia there are no homeless people. Such situations are sometimes forgotten and not even helped. You opened a great topic here.

  • marcoujor profile image

    Maria Jordan 3 weeks ago from Jeffersonville PA

    I'm sitting on that bench crying with you, dear Paula.

    Your words are evidence of your big heart. Love you, Maria

  • shanmarie profile image

    Shannon 3 weeks ago from Texas

    You made me think of the homeless camps in Dallas that have become such an issue for the city. They forcefully shut one down that was located under a group of underpasses, but because most of these people ended up with no place else to go, despite advocate groups trying to help, the camps have just relocated. It all saddens me. Probably because I have been close to where these people are. Not every homeless individual is an alcoholic, felon, or a drug addict. The issues surrounding them are so complacated; it can't be fixed overnight. Yet people want quick solutions and seem to forget the homeless are human beings.

    Great poem, Paula. A picture painted with a lot of emotion. Despite what I just said and the strong feelings I have bout that, when reading your poem, I can't decide whether to feel bad for the homeless or sad that so much trash is everywhere. But, you are right, it is a lot like a war. The sad thing is so many fighting it are veterans themselves and the ones who should be defending them are fighting against them.

  • Jodah profile image

    John Hansen 3 weeks ago from Queensland Australia

    I love this, Paula. So full of feeling and well crafted. "Five hundred steps from my front door".. I would have made that the title of the poem. Good work.

  • MartieCoetser profile image

    Martie Coetser 3 weeks ago from South Africa

    Oh, what a sad picture! You make me feel guilty because I normally freak out about the trash before realizing that the homeless don't even have a dustbin! What to do about the poor? Down here the government threatens to take without compensation from those who have, and to give it to the poor.

  • manatita44 profile image

    manatita44 3 weeks ago from london

    Yes, life has a sad face too. A vivid tale. Thanks Paula.

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