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Say Thank You

This time of year the weather changes and I think our hearts do a little bit too.  We reflect on all that has happened through out our year.  Thanksgiving is right around the corner and it brings about thoughts of what we are thankful for.  I thought this poem would be appropriate for you to start thinking about what you have to say thank you for

Pink notice on your desk. It’s all that’s left. A white lifeless cardboard box. Business cards, doo dads sit in a pile.

 

I suggest you say thank you

 

 

 

Through metal detectors you pass.  Curious eyes summoning you up.  Blue plastic chairs you sit in for hours.  Forms that seem endless.  Plastic EBT card.  It’s only $221.00 a month plus food stamps.  Not enough to pay next months rent.

 

Again, say thank you

 

 

 

Turbulence comes like white twisting wind wrapping its arms around you.  Violent shaking moving you from this place you live in

 

Please say thank you.

 

 

 

Your bed lumpy drives in your skin.  Eyes widened by the other women’s snorts and sniffles.  Earplugs don’t help.  You’re told to wake by the staff at the shelter.  Even though you have only slept a few hours

 

Say thank you

 

 

 

Shouting voices sitting on Grey slabbed twisted cement.  Your breakfast served to you and 150 others.  It’s oatmeal, same as yesterday, same old thing

 

Say thank you

 

 

 

Rules if broken will send you to cold sidewalks.  Where bones ache like ice on a riverbed longing to be in the summer’s sun again

 

Say thank you

 

  

 

Lifeless, listless, let go of it.  Tempted by the illusion of magical substances, which are packaged in glass bottles or rolled in a stem. Resist it.  Let go and

 

Say thank you

 

 

 

Enrolled in a program.  Tests taken. Tell us how many words are spelled correctly.  What 4 x10 divided by 3 is.  If this circle fits in this square.  Hours and hours from the time you walked in.

Say thank you

 

 

Why did I do this?  Probably the same old thing.  Not intelligent enough.  Not educated enough.  I didn’t put in the right answers.  They tell you it’s time now.  A new career.  Vocational Rehabilitation will take you.  Are you ready?  Say yes and

 

Say thank you.

 

 

Pencils, papers, torn black book bag you keep in your locker.  All the way across campus.  Room 115.  You’ve got 3 minutes.  Book writing awaits.  Panting. Heart racing faster than it’s ever been.  Shoe slips, pick it up.  Gain your strength.  The handle turns, you’re in.  Exactly 1pm.  You made it.  Welcome students, let’s begin  Catch your breath and

 

Say thank you

 

 

2 years, 10 paper pads, filled up.  Raindrops down your face.  Your words daily written.  You live it, you breathe it.  Soon you will have a home.  Little voice inside your head says be patient.  You’re starting to trust it and you

 

Say thank you.

 

 

Files, number crunching.  Always a low paycheck.  You hated every moment.  You were given a chance, even though you couldn’t see it.  Screaming snot nosed tots with toys strewn all over the parking lot.  Chipped brown 70’s  tile falling off.  The apartment management said it was your fault.  Pay for it on your own.  Television was your best friend.  When was it going to end.  The silence, the rage within.  You were then given a chance.  Taken in, given a bed.  No looking back.  Though you did.  Hours wasted but friends made.  Chances were given.  All that was lost, you didn’t want anyway.  Vulnerable, scared, you opened your heart.  Allowed yourself to trust the path.  Look back now, it makes you laugh.  You no longer question your experience.

 

Cold chill, roll down your window.  Small white kitten purring gently by your side.  Almost finished, took you a year.  Hot cocoa bites your tongue.  You smile and

 

You say thank you.

 

 

Publisher picks up the book, says good job.  It will go to press soon.  You shake her hand and

 

You say thank you

 

 

This was what you had to do.  Your words affected millions, just by your truth.  The journey is different, it is new and

 

You say thank you.

 

 

Twilight Days

For a period of time in my life I was homeless.  I thought I would share with you what it was like in the beginning months for me.

Twilight Days

There are days, moments, hours where I am listless in my being, in where I am at, in the beings that inhabit the space I am residing in and the surrealness of it all. Serenity and relaxation are not conducive to the atmosphere I am surrounded in, nor is there a sense of sanity, a sanity I fight to keep despite the swirling dysfunction that encapsulates me.

Engulfed by people who are trapped in their mental state. Sitting a few feet across from me with their intent eyes that do not move away, as they ramble outloud of their inner turmoils. I am at first amused and engaged in this morning ritual but time can rob the soul of this charm and I am left with an uncomfortable state of unsureness in how to approach this, the mentality of those who I share space with.  I must listen to fowl words, loud music to which I am not in a mood to be surrounded by as I awake to a new day, yearning for silence or the sounds of something peaceful. Luring me in is the stench of the old man who hasn’t showered for days and the mumblings of those who are ready to douse him in water and soap. I among them move to somewhere that I cannot vomit from the smell of his saturated life. I am Wondering why he does not choose to shower when he can? Continued wonderings are of the other older man sleeping on the side walk because his car was towed, 80 years old and he is barely able to walk nor see, he stumbles in, but not from drunkenness nor drugs but from the unbalanced night of cold concrete and dark unsurity. Where are the nights to rescue him, to take him to safety at this time of life when age is of that to which rest is imperative.

The sounds again of arguing, more slang words, this time I count how many times the overbearingly loud, don’t you dare get in my way, life is nothing but heartache woman says it, (what appears to be her favorite word, fuck), in a 5 minute period. 14 times, it has become a part of her, like her arms or hair.

Cigarette smoke looms in the air, into my lungs which I have not chosen for it to do so. I can barely watch as the pregnant woman puffs two more times and when asked why she does this, she replies, “It ain’t gonna hurt my baby”. I refrain from spouting statistics and information that could prove otherwise knowing this is futile. Attempts on my part have been made to open the minds of those around me but they fall on deaf ears. For victimization is rank in these parts and to look within would require having to have accountability for where one is at. I must admit it is a rather difficult thing to accomplish and I fight hard to remember that I do hold myself responsible for where I am at, where I am going to and where I am in between there.

Morning awakens to a new day, hoping that I will be able to listen in serenity to my CD player and find a corner to meditate in, away from the daily meanderings of this place to which I on some level chose to be. Grasping at the chance to shift it to sun in my heart and peace in chaos, only now do I have this chance to be at one even if surrounded by many.