perhaps we honor the wrong people...
perhaps we pay tribute to the wrong people...
perhaps we aren't thinking right...
Tragedy has struck,
people are killed,
lives and families are shattered,
headlines are bold,
tears are shed,
memorial services are attended,
names are recited,
crying is heard,
bells are tolled,
flowers and other mementos are left...
While right across the street
there is an old man,
barely dressed for the weather,
and what he is wearing is very old,
and even very uncomfortable...
The old man leans on his grocery cart,
that is filled with bottles and cans,
bags and assorted other items
that he has collected,
that he calls his possessions,
that give him some form of comfort
and shows that he, as well as you,
can have material things,
although they are quite different from yours...
The old man watches as several well-dressed people
carry flowers and photographs and candles
to the site of the tragedy,
and he watches as they place these offerings
so tenderly, almost hesitantly, on the ground, on the steps...
then after standing with heads bowed a few moments,
their righteous deeds done for the evening,
they leave, get into their automobiles,
and drive away,
perhaps to go out to dinner,
or just to go back home and relax...
The distraction ended,
the old man continues in the direction he was headed,
stopping at the trash can at the curb,
where he reaches in, rummaging around,
to see if he can find another bottle or can, - another nickel,
to add to the ones he has in the bags tied to his cart,
so that maybe he can buy a burger,
or even a small bottle of liquid warmth,
because he has no nice home to go back to,
and he has no idea what it means to relax...
Perhaps we honor the wrong people...
Perhaps we pay tribute to the wrong people...
Perhaps we aren't thinking right...
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Copyright©2017-1999 by Rebecca R. Hammack
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