Monday, March 30, 2020

SOL20 Slice #30: Where is he now?

I am participating in the
All participants are sharing stories about moments in their lives, writing 
 every day for the month of March 2020.
Thank you, Two Writing Teachers!

I woke this morning with a certain homeless young man on my mind, wondering how he is managing to survive this time of quarantine and isolation.

Where is he now?
Walking home from the metro,
past the stores,
he always finds me.
Just a dollar for some food,
Just a dollar,
that's all.
The sad glisten of his eyes and 
the nervous movements of his body,
tell me differently.

Walking home from the metro,
he moves into my path,
always reminding me,
seeming 'of me.'
I am pulled to engage, 
to not engage,
to know more,
to keep my distance,
to talk,
to be afraid, and
afraid is more powerful.

Walking home from the metro,
I wonder,
what if I had told him 
about the clinic, 
only one block away?
How we sat together in circle,
everyone shared their pain,
the ordeals,
the addictions,
the stories that gave me trembles,
and kept me praying?

Walking home from the metro,
he finds me, and I, him.
Is he sleeping on someone's couch?
Or on the streets?
Where is his family?
Where is he hunkered down?
Is his Mom somewhere, worried?
Is she worn out from the grief
of the journey?
Where is he now?


  1. This is haunting and beautiful. I love the repetition of “Walking home from the metro,” the way the speaker’s mind wanders from the homeless man to his mother, the subtext and what you reveal in the second stanza. That has me thinking. I love the poignant way you critique our fear of what we see when it’s what we don’t see that we should fear. I’ll be thinking about this poem for a long time.

    1. Thank you, Glenda. I was haunted in my thoughts about him. "It's what we don't see that we should fear." Oh, yes, yes, yes.

  2. Maureen,
    I agree with Glenda. You have put a powerful image of this young man in our minds. I too, will remember him after leaving here, and say a prayer for him. Thank you for keeping him in your thoughts during the pandemic too.

    1. He is on my mind, and I know it's not going to hurt him at all for him to be on others' minds, too. Thank you for this!

  3. Maureen, These lines, " I am pulled to engage, to not engage, to know more,
    to keep my distance, to talk, to be afraid, and afraid is more powerful," captures exactly how I feel when I see someone who's homeless. I want to help and provide support and sometimes my fear overtakes me. He is in your thoughts and mine. Sharing this brings him some love in a time where this place is where you can show him you care.

    1. I love the idea of this poem bringing him extra love right now! Thank you, for this!

  4. On days when I drive to school I see people on the streets. I wonder how they are getting through this time. Your poem expresses the feelings. Is his Mom somewhere, worried? I think of that...

    1. As a Mom, I have certainly worried about my boys...and I see him, and worry for her. Thank you for commenting!

  5. Well I just loved this. Palpable empathy and so brilliantly articulated. This is a gift you shared today, even if the main recipient never actually sees it, I hope he feels it from the universe. Thanks for sharing

    1. Thank you so much - "I hope he feels it from the universe." Lovely! Thanks for commenting!

  6. to be afraid, and
    afraid is more powerful.
    Those words tugged at me, probably for most women. The dilemma of caring, and at the same time staying safe. It is beautiful, true, unflinching, and tender. Thank you.