A Homeless Man


Starbucks is his living room,
A borrowed car his taxi.
Scruffy beard and sweatshirt top
Look like a man down on his luck.

His vocation is applying for work.
Fifty, sixty times during a shopping season
He haplessly faxes or delivers his résumé
To employers who will ignore him.

He fantasizes about work.
Anything would be better than the disdain.
“Get a job man” or “You’re such a loser.”
But rejection kills his hope.

Uncommonly polite and intelligent
He reads the newspaper in silence
And treats the coffee shop like his home
Scanning the want-ads with hope.

What more can he do with no money?
Everything requires income:
Rent a house, own a car, go to school, buy clothes.
All solved when a job calls his name.

Self-determination is not the universal answer
To work and opportunity.
Sometimes it takes a village
To share, to counsel, and to help.

A callous heart that says,
“You are lazy, but I won’t help,”
Is cruel beyond measure like screaming
To a man alone in a deep well, “Climb out.”

Starbucks is his living room
Where he drinks coffee and greets friends.
But no one says, “How can I help you.”
They are afraid it will obligate them.

7 thoughts on “A Homeless Man

  1. Exactly. Gizzajob (please give me a job) never works. And even your friends avoid you. You only get a job when you don’t seem to need it. That’s my experience.

  2. Having a place like a coffee shop or an internet cafe is a true Godsend to someone who is homeless. Throw in PO Boxes and shower facilities, and life is even better. Most shelters don’t allow their guests to stay during the day.
    PS I couldn’t find the follow button, so commenting seemed to be theconky way to receive notifications on your future posts.

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