Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Those who fall between the cracks

I don't know his name.
I wonder if he comes from Eastern Europe
Or perhaps the Middle East, 
I don't know where he once lived,
Nor where his relatives still live,
Yet, I say, "Good Morning,"
To this elderly gentleman,
At least once a week 
As I stop for fuel
 (And coffee).

He responds,
Softly, humbly, with a heavy accent,
Nodding his head,
Going through the motions
As if
Every bone in his body
 Aches in the dampness.

I share my Visa card
He fuels my car.
Then moves, slowly,
Towards the next car,
Slowly moving,
Towards his chair,
As if
Every bone in his body.
Aches in the dampness.

I wonder IF he has health care,
Or has fallen between the cracks,
Is here, yet hidden, in the masses
Of those without "green" cards.
Without retirements, social securities.
Will he work until he cannot
Get up and down?
Then, where does he go?

I wonder what might have been
With a public school education,
With health care,
With retirement savings,
What will happen
When he cannot
Get up and down?
Then, where does he go?  


Adrienne Gillespie said...

WOW. This is a beautiful poem that lets us see a little into your day and your heart.

Alice Nine said...

A moving poem... It made me think of the organ grinder in Kate DiCamillo's picture book "Great Joy"