the man wakes from a (one eye open) sleep

with the sore back on a hard bench

stretch and groan, early, to steer clear

of the passers-by sneer and eye-roll

with quick turn of the head,


and they move along …


at home

way back when

the boy woke from a (one eye open) sleep

with the hard and fast pounding hand of panic

pressing his heart, and iced-up breath in his chest,

as he waited for grave footsteps

and a stale beer breath fog,


and he couldn’t move,


and he can’t move on.


Note: this poem is not based on any one individual.

If you live in Australia and need someone to talk to – you can contact Lifeline (Crisis support and suicide prevention).



6 thoughts on “Homeless,

  1. It is sad that most in society don’t bother to ask or provide a means of addressing the real needs of the homeless….or even care why they are currently homeless…an important issue to address.

  2. Chills the heart, and gives poetic insight into one of the many causes of homelessness.
    My dad often reminded us that the homeless people we see could so easily be us, and I only really ‘got’ when no longer a child.

    1. Most people are only a few paychecks away from homelessness and many kids are running away from home for good reason – thanks bb – I don’t remember seeing many homeless people when I was young (except when I went overseas and it was really obvious), though I probably saw them without seeing them, if you know what I mean.

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