This shopping cart is more than that

my treasures are here

the string I found last week

a dead flower that fell from someone’s bouquet

a sweatshirt that old Conner gave me

when I was cold and the freeze hit before sunset

and somebody stole my only coat

This brown bag is from the store where they

won’t let me in because

my clothes are ragged and dirty—

“What would my customers think?”, the owner said

and he sneered because I had less than a dollar

I used to find bottles I could turn in for money there


and I don’t smell sweet unless it rains


some days my feet hurt

and my heart sinks in loneliness

who can love someone such as I

they say I’m homeless

it’s true but not really true

I do have a home on this earth

not at the shelter, where I sleep sometimes

It’s warmer there than in the doorway

of what used to be that bar on skid row

but that doorway, that’s where my friend is

huddle together, we do, when it’s cold

and talk about what used to be our dreams

before the liquor and the smack took them away


maybe tomorrow I’ll clean up

try to get work

but it’s hard when you don’t wear suits

hard when they wrinkle their noses

and look at me with pity but make no offers

and the sympathy hurts more than the word “no”

maybe tonight Conner’n me can sleep in warmth

if the shelter hasn’t closed its doors again


but for now if you can spare some change

it’d surely help, mister--

Conner’s old, and he’s sick now and I worry

he coughs all the time and weighs less than a feather

too old for living on the street this way

he’s my only friend, you see

don’t feel sorry for me

I’ll get by somehow

but please, if you’ve got some change you can spare

It’s not for me I swear

©1999 - 2024  Mary Barnett / Moodesigns