a breeze was blowing in my face. i knew it was going to be another cold nite i walked slowly, wearily across the city, immersed in the thought of finding a safe place to sleep.
as you were playing with your children, watching television surfing the internet or talking with your spouse, i was looking over the place where i decided to spend the nite. i looked over the surroundings to make sure it was dry and would draw no attention. i laid out my blanket, my sleeping bag and sat down. another nite, another place, another day gone. i sat there for a few moments trying to relax from a long, tiring day. i pulled out what small snack i was able to find or buy that day and ate it slowly, looking around and wondering if this was the right place for the night. darkiness had set in and it was beginning to get cold again.
while you were preparing for bed, i was laying down looking up at the sky. a few stars were visible, but it still looked like a rain might pass thru. the air had that smell and the feeling of rain was present. i was hoping it wouldn't rain again. the thought of another wet, cold nite bore heavily on me as i lay there. i randomly let the day's thoughts run thru my mind and lay there still and silently, waiting for another restless nite. i was listening to the sounds of the nite and particularly for sounds of other people. i was hoping i was in a safe enough place that noone would see me or accidently run across me in the middle of the nite. my eyes grew heavy and i dozed off into a fitful sleep.
while you were sleeping in your warm bed last nite, i awoke, realizing the nite was colder than i had anticipated.
i pulled the sleeping bag tighter and wrapped the blanket closer to my body. i hid my face under the blanket hoping the warmth would be enough for the nite. i lay there, wondering if my ordeal would ever end. i lay there thinking about family past and friends long gone. i lay there hoping that tomorrow would bring new hope, new direction and a way out. i once again dozed off into a cold sleep.
while you were dreaming, i was turning fitfully over. i sat up and my heart began to race as i heard the sound of voices. my body was tense and my mind was spinning, wondering if this was the nite the teenagers who
find amusement in harassing or assaulting homeless people would find me and i would be their next victim. i sat there motionless and listened to their cursing, their laughter and eventually their footsteps fading away as they left. i remained upright for what seemed like hours, listening and staring into the darkness. finally i lay back down as i realized the threat was gone for now.
while you were beginning to stir in the early dawn hours, i was already awake and packing my gear, it was very cold and i was preparing for another day of survival. i was hungry and looking forward to finding breakfast. i shivered as the morning wind penetrated my coat and i pulled my hat low on my head to keep warm. my back was stiff and my legs ached from sleeping on the cold ground. i wondered how i would spend the day as i rolled my blanket. when you were opening your eyes and preparing to rise, i was walking down the gray sidewalk in the cold morning. the sky was red, orange and a faint blue was beginning to appear as the sun made its way over the horizon. i had made it thru another nite. i wondered how many didn't.
while you slept last nite, 13 kids who spent the nite just like me didn't make it thru another nite. some froze to death while they slept as hypothermia took over their body. some overdosed in their despair. some were murdered because they were homeless and alone. some just gave up. while you slept last nite another man died quietly on a park bench, the victim of his homelessness. they'll find him at daybreak. while you slept last nite another woman was assaulted and raped because she is homeless, vulnerable and unable to defend herself. another elderly veteran died alone in a tent, behind a bush or in a campsite.
while you slept last nite, so did we. some of us made it thru another nite. too many of us didn't.
we are the homeless
see you around town