A homeless senior woman alone on the streets of San Francisco. Robert L. Terrell photo


Street Elder: Morning

by Claire J. Baker

Her first steps are a stagger-limp —
a block, a mile to go!
On the grimy street stage,
she still tries to play a part,
mutters moving lines
but few hear them at all
or hear them as true.
Maybe the one
dear-hearted today
is you…

Looking for Fathers

by George Wynn

Walking aimlessly down
Tenderloin streets
homeless, wifeless, jobless
walking slowly as though
they never get enough sleep
they plop down spread-eagled
to the sky and snore the day away
Some of them have law degrees
and medals and were cross-country
truckers and have children
they haven’t seen in 13 or 15 years
who are searching for their fathers
on the lonely streets of America

Longing for Community

Organizer Spirit

by George Wynn

2 South Side Chicago tired men
warm their hands
over flickering fire
formed on midnight street.
Older man: “Things
getting worse and worse.”
Younger man nods:
“I thought things
were gonna get better.”
Older man: “You know
I remember Obama
when he was
a community organizer.”
“Me too.”
Older man: “Damn shame!”

The Homeless Are Lonely Like Jesus

by Maureen Hartmann

Jesus was a transient teacher,
wandering around Palestine.
As human, he must have often
had to concentrate
on addressing the crowds
and healing the disabled and ill
while worrying about his next meal
and that night’s shelter.
The homeless often get involved
with putting together a broken world
by involvement with peace
and justice,
and have to think of others
in the midst of their own crises.