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The Final Nightmare (Poetry)
In the "Answers" area, kallini2010 asked hubbers how long they think they could survive if homeless. In response, I want to share this poem I wrote many years ago about a homeless man I encountered and his story. We often fear what we don't know, but when we take a moment to learn about others, we find that we are all born of the same blood. I hope you are touched as I was when I met this man.
The Final Nightmare
It was late one evening when the nightmare ended.
He stepped out from behind the curtain
showing his horrible, retched face.
Life had gotten the best of him.
Years of lies, drugs, and hatred
revealed by the wrinkles on his face.
Heartache and pain ruled his soul.
Sorrow was the key that unlocked his misery.
He wanted to be healed,
to let go,
to be free from the torment and pain he had known for so long.
And the painful memories flowed freely from his mouth.
And the tears dropped slowly from his eyes.
And this vagrant became a person before the very crowd that spit upon him.
He carefully pulled each splinter from his heart.
Sharing with each movement, where the splinter came from
and why he held on to it for so long.
In the beginning, the audience stared in silence.
Scared, unable to speak,
so quiet and so poor,
locked in his own prison for so many years
telling them of his pain and sins
of the abuse and the agony.
some grew angrier with every word:
Who cares about this man?
I spit upon him as I walk by.
He begs for other people’s hard-earned money.
Yet, by the time he finished speaking,
they all realized:
They have nowhere to run, nowhere to hid,
they must finally bend down and help him.
They had to accept the blame and take responsibility for allowing this man to become what he was.
That night, they learned the true story:
A 12-year-old child, his mother’s pride and joy,
left alone one night by a tragic car accident.
Left alone to fight through the system,
he was scared.
As time moved on, and he grew older,
the skills he learned no longer mattered.
His heart could not rid the pain of living alone in this world.
Forty years of wandering alone through a world full of people,
in a city of a thousand voices, he only heard his own.
Yet, that evening,
by sharing his story and releasing himself from his prison,
that scared boy became a man.
And the nightmare ended.
And the dream began.
And freedom was released upon the room.