The Homeless One’s Poem
Many local people were saddened about the recent death of Alan, (2019) who used to sit outside Ethel Road Tesco. We had all got used to him, with his friendly, polite outlook; I, amongst others, would spend quite a while having a chat with him.
Soon afterwards, this poem appeared on the bollard outside the shop doorway, along with a bunch of yellow roses. It transpires that, a week or so before he died, he became very upset when someone threw coins at him, as did the lady who was talking with him at the time. This poem was the result. It read,
Thanks ever so much for your helpful donation,
It shows we’re still part of the same creation.
Do me a favour, if you’d be so kind,
Don’t throw it at me; it upsets my friend’s mind.
You see, she understands that you and me,
Have a lot in common; would you care to see?
Right now, times are hard and I ain’t got much money,
Can’t get a job either – it’s not really funny.
Years ago, I was young and life wasn’t so strained,
But now I am older, my energy’s drained.
Won’t bother you now; most have been through the same,
Marriage, kids and a mortgage;
Life sure is no game.
Let’s say, my life fell completely to bits,
Getting back together, I’ve been through the pits.
I’m getting there slowly and with your kind smile,
You’ll make my life better and things seem worthwhile.
So next time you pass me and bring me some cheer,
Come closer, near by me; there’s no need to fear.
I’ll pray that He keeps you far from my fate,
Can you pray for me too that He opens a gate.
Thank you and keep smiling – it’s a CHARITY, you know
Your Scottish ‘Sister’ Lisa.
Thank you, Lisa; it made me cry reading it – and, others too, I hear. I hope I have transcribed it as you intended. Apparently, Lisa is simply another customer, who like myself, had built up a rapport with Alan, and treated him with dignity, as we all should, and all deserve to be treated ourselves: as human beings. He was also somebody’s father and somebody’s son. I hear someone managed to locate his mum; no matter what circumstances led him to be on the streets, it must have been heartbreaking for the family.
Loneliness and isolation are terrible to deal with, but so easy to come by. Not just regarding the homeless, but elderly neighbours and single people, mothers with young babies trying to cope, people who just don’t seem to ‘fit in’. Or just lacking in confidence. Add in mental health issues – so many people are struggling. And sometimes it’s not obvious from the outside. We are all so busy, with our frantic lives, but it’s amazing how much just a smile, a cheerful hello or a simple conversation can help; the recognition that you’re not invisible and that you do ‘count’. You don’t have to work miracles and take on or sort out their problems – though it would be lovely if you could! Just that glimmer of positivity or friendship could be the catalyst to getting someone back on track. Be a good friend- look out for someone!