Monday, November 18, 2013


It should not be, but there are still people out there without a home in one of the richest countries in the world. The figures from the authorities are, understandably, small. But now and then, there are anecdotes of people living under stairways, bridges, on park benches and in tents on the beaches. There will always be people who drop through the nets, for whatever reasons.

I have been planning to post this poem for some time, but I don't know what's holding me back. :)

photo by ppdigital
image from


the rain comes down
on your back
the cardboard
you slept on
is wet
the thin sheet
like a shroud
on tired skin
is no match


the wind

blowing through
lift landings

the places



I can still hear the traffic above the bridge, under which I had earlier taken shelter from the storm. The rain is slowing and I prepare to cycle off. I have noticed another man under the bridge too. I thought he was taking shelter as well, but it seems he was living under the bridge. There is a mat, cardboard sheets and bottles of water in a corner. Now he is approaching me. Hesitantly, he asks if I can spare him a cigarette. I give him one. As I cycle off into a light drizzle, I wonder if I am helping or destroying him.

Shared on Poetry Pantry #176 at Poets United.

© cheong lee san ( dsnake1 ) 2013

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Blogger Liz Rice-Sosne said...

This is an exceptional piece. The poem allows another to see/feel the plight of too many. But, I am most intrigued by your own question of "why have I not published this piece earlier?" This piece is very provocative … and good.

18 November, 2013 01:21  
Blogger Natašek said...

the places you called home... you end in peace.

18 November, 2013 02:11  
Blogger Mary said...

You have written a strong poem about homelessness that will stick with me. How hard it must be to live in a cardboard box in the rain.

18 November, 2013 03:18  
Blogger Sherry Blue Sky said...

This has an impact, Lee San. Thanks for shining a little light under that bridge and for being the kind of person who gives what he can. That smoke comforted the poor man for the next five minutes - no small gift.

18 November, 2013 04:09  
Blogger Brian Miller said...

have always had a spot in my heart for the homeless...figure i was one step away plenty of times....and used to hang out with them often when i lived in MD...and when i worked evening s i often worked the soup kitchens at lunch here...

18 November, 2013 04:37  
Blogger scotthastiepoet said...

Lean and carefully written. A beautifully paced effort here - the compassion is tangible. My kind of writing... With Best Wishes Scott

18 November, 2013 04:38  
Blogger Gillena Cox said...

please add your link to my blog hop today, you poem fits well with the theme

much love...

18 November, 2013 06:45  
Blogger Sumana Roy said...

sad, memorable lines...

18 November, 2013 18:34  
Blogger dsnake1 said...


thanks for stopping by.
come to think of it, it is exactly what you have commented. i am afraid it may be too provocative. in the past i would not have cared and hit "publish", but i must have mellowed as i aged. anyway, this is an issue in most big cities.


yes, i guessed so. :)


thank you. sometimes, when i wake up in the middle of the night to close the windows because of a thunderstorm, i wonder how it is possible for anyone to brave such cold and wetness out there.


the irony is that he didn't asked me for food or money. yeah, maybe that smoke gave him some comfort for a brief time.


you are such a compassionate person. :)


thank you! :)


thank you! i have linked this poem at your post. :)


thanks! always nice to see you around.

18 November, 2013 22:55  
Blogger Lisa A. Williams said...

You have described the existence of the homeless in such a touching, tender way. Wonderful.

19 November, 2013 05:52  
Blogger dsnake1 said...

thank you, Lisa. :)

19 November, 2013 23:53  
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Blogger dsnake1 said...

Anonymous, thanks! :)

13 March, 2018 22:50  

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