Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Good Neighbors: 1. Monday

All you who pass by,
don’t judge what you don’t understand.

Please, don’t walk away;
        Any small amount would help
            a homeless,
and sick-to-my-very-bones me.

My soul suffers, and has for a long time;
how much longer can I hold on?

You could stop, you could help;
you could save me, for Humanity’s sake!

Instead, you just walk on by;
you show me your back.

           Words of gratitude are not spoken by the dead,
but I might sing your praises
           if you’d relieved my dread;
any small change could help.

Riddled by sleeplessness,
           I drench my tattered coat in tears
that could flood the very streets
           with a river of my shame.

My eyes are weary,
because I fear for my safety.

You’ll ignore me and move on,
            but what goes around comes around;
your indifference will bring the shame on you.

© 2015 by Elisabeth T. Eliassen

This poem is part of a cycle based on the seven Penitential Psalms. The subtitle of the cycle is "Psalms from the Streets." This first entry is based on Psalm 6 and an all too familiar passage from Lamentations; it could be subtitled "The Homeless."