“Depression Bread Line” George Segal’s sculpture at the FDR Memorial in Washington, D.C. shows the poverty of a nation during the Great Depression. Poverty in America is once again becoming widespread and permanently entrenched.


Lepers of the USA

by Judy Joy Jones

would you sit by me
if I had no home
or have me colonized away
a “leper” of the USA
would you take me
in your arms and weep
if you found
an untouchable like me
murdered on your streets
would you come to the city morgue
to collect my no-name ashes
one of society’s throwaways
“see i have carved you
out of the palm of my hand
you are precious to me”
must have been written
for someone else
not the lower caste like me
tonight if I’m lucky I’ll die
and won’t be a piece
of garbage beneath your feet
that no one wants to see
would you sit by me
if I had no home
or have me colonized away
a “leper” of the USA


by Claire J. Baker

To rescue a person
from a slight mishap
and later realize
that person saved
your whole  life.

No Street Lights

by George Wynn 

think of the rank smell
of alleyways and chilly
side streets without street lights
your brothers and sisters
rest and sleep
they should be walked
not just talked about
to ingest a taste of the hell


by Ryan Rosenfeld

Moaning, crying, shouting, begging.
A man with rags;
Children with scratchy, thin, worn-out
blankets, infested with mold and lice.
A baby, with nobody to hold her,
comfort her,
or even feed her.
We can help.

Surely, We Can

by Claire J. Baker

Surely, if sensitive communities
can give out condoms
and sterilized needles
in the tenderloin ghetto,
provide priests, rabbis,
reverends for prisoners
to consult, surely
caring communities can
provide for the destitute
if not food, then water;
if not shelter, then safe areas
in which to sleep
where such a natural need
is not named a crime.

A Walk on the Dizzy Side

by George Wynn 

Homelessness has dizzied
the chronic down-and-out
How do you go forward
when everyone is frightened of you
or calls you useless or both?
Trying to make it through
one more day seems
like an endless chore
You walk all day and
you’re so damn sore
and the company you keep has been
battered as much as you or more
If only you had a key
to your own door