Sunday, October 14, 2012

Poetics: bag lady

Out on the Streets by Judy Schavrien
Out on the Streets by Judy Schavrien

bag lady

My worst fear could not be bottled,
but it sure could be bagged.

"Paper or plastic?"

On the streets or under a bridge,
or huddled in dank doorsteps downtown
in shame and manic panic, I would choose
plastic to wrap myself against
winter wind and as the barrier
for ground cover — then would hope for
paper to layer on top for padding.

if someone gave me a sleeping bag
that would be my favorite bag of all.

Written for PoeticsPOETICAPHOBIA  — at dVerse Poets hosted this week by Stuart McPherson, whose unnerving prompt asks us to "write a poem about a phobia or something that scares you."

(I am not alone in this particular fear. There are endless articles
and at least one book on the topic. A good blog post can be read here.)



Sabio Lantz said...

I have never thought if I feared being homeless. I was voluntarily homeless for a year once -- but that was controlled homelessness -- nothing similar.

And now that I have kids , I fear for them, so I can't keep it all separated.

Thanx for making me think about it. Great pic choice.

Brian Miller said...

i would give you a sleeping bag...smiles....that line on it being your favorite bag of all...i love that...i have been close a few times in life you know...i always figure i am one decision away...or have been...which is why i always have a place in my heart for those that are there...its a rough life....i used to eat lunch with the homeless often just to hear their stories...

Anonymous said...


Fireblossom said...

I can't even imagine how terrifying it must be to be homeless.

Heaven said...

I can't imagine myself in this situation but I can empathize with the homeless and their helplessness. And a sleeping bag would be good to give them ~

rosaria williams said...

Good grief, you read my mind! I've seen my share of bad luck, and how close we all are to losing everything. Why, just last year, with foreclosures all around us, we thought of consolidating our houses, and bring all of our adult children under one roof! Scary.

Anonymous said...

yep- i totally get this....fear of being homeless....i cant imagine...and i do think about this a lot...i often have irrational thoughts that see me losing my job, losing my house, losing my i hope this doesn't happen...but hat it does do is teach you his great poem does. V enjoyed, v thought provoking and great take on the prompt

mythopolis said...

How to keep warm while homeless is like putting a band-aid on a near mortal wound. Yes, of course they need shelter. But beyond that there needs to be an in-depth examination of what led to the predicament. Yes, now even 'middle-class' people find themselves having nightmares of losing it all, given the economy. But, many of the homeless one sees on the sidewalks, or under the bridges are victims of being abused, or being self-abusive. Many are suffering from an array of mental illnesses that incapacitate them. A good number are vets of various wars. So, to me, it is not about paper, plastic, or bags. It is about funding social services and mental health services to help these people regain a grip. That done, they will find their own places to sleep and stay warm.

kkkkaty said...

Unfortunately a common occurrence these days..I've wanted to help many ..invite them home for a meal..also know them...good write!!

Rob-bear said...

I have seen them
ladies of the bag —
paper, plastic, sleeping —
sometimes several
in a shopping cart.
Always seeming to be
on the move to

They are alone,
except for those like them.
Hanging out wherever,
rarely in a safe place,
or a healthy place.
They often die too early,
in a winter's -40 degree
cold and snow.

They say
a society is judged
by how it treats
its most vulnerable members.
How shall we be judged
for our treatment of
people like


Yep, I like this -- barbara

Kathe W. said...

my phobia is my children becoming homeless- who would have thought growing up that our country would become what it is today.
Excellent timely post Lydia.



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