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The Final Nightmare (Poetry)

Updated on December 23, 2014

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,

some cried.

This man,

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.


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    • EyesStraightAhead profile image

      Shell Vera 5 years ago from Connecticut, USA

      Thank you PJ! This was a very encouraging comment!

    • pjlacy5 profile image

      Wildflower 5 years ago from Jefferson, MA

      That was a well written, thoughtful and moving poem. Thanks for giving it to the world!!

    • EyesStraightAhead profile image

      Shell Vera 5 years ago from Connecticut, USA

      Thank you Faith! Keep writing and you will see how great this community is for support and advice. I have learned so much and grown in the past four months here!

    • EyesStraightAhead profile image

      Shell Vera 5 years ago from Connecticut, USA

      Thank you Eiddwen! This is one of my favorites. I have to take the time to share more poetry on here...just have to type it and get it from the notebook on to the screen. Thank you for the encouragement!

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 5 years ago from Wales

      Oh yes so full of feeling and powerfully written;great work here.

      Take care and thanks for sharing.

      I now look forward to reading many more by you.


    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 5 years ago from southern USA

      Amazing poem! I had written a poem back in 2010 and just published it today of my personal experience concerning the homeless, it is called "Unseen By Choice." This is my first day hubbing. Faith Reaper

    • EyesStraightAhead profile image

      Shell Vera 6 years ago from Connecticut, USA

      Thank you Donnaisabella! I do admit that compassion is something I have been accused of a lot in my life. I think it is because I have been blessed like Paul to have experienced want and gain, love and sadness, friendship and loneliness. I have lived on both sides of the tracks, had wonderful relationships and horrible ones. While I have never been in some of the situations I write about, hearing others stories and being able to personalize them at times allows me to better put myself in their shoes and understand the walk. Sometimes it is a scary place and others absolutely majestic! This was one of my favorite poems that I have written because this man's story was just amazing. All of this because of a bad deal in life...not of his own doing. It was sad.

    • donnaisabella profile image

      Donaisabella 6 years ago from Fort Myers

      Hey, this is awesome. You have so much compassion, I can feel it is from your heart. Keep it coming, I am loving your writing! Voted up.

    • EyesStraightAhead profile image

      Shell Vera 6 years ago from Connecticut, USA

      Thank you both! I would be interested in reading your poetry Joe and am about to search to see if you shared them here. If you did not, would you be willing to provide a link so we can read your work?

    • JamesPoppell profile image

      JamesPoppell 6 years ago

      Very thought provoking. A vote up & thanks for sharing

    • profile image

      joe scalise 6 years ago

      Very good and a well relayed story. You painted an ugly picture beautifully, I have written two quite somilar poems one of a homeless man "Baskart Man" and the other about a bag lady "Miss Lady Bag" not as long and not painted as well as yours.