Got No Cover, Got No Tent

Chained to poverty.

Hands—knee deep in empty pockets.
Resident of the street.
Got no cover, Got no heat.

Evicted for lack of rent,
homesteader under a bridge.
A park bench—a Holiday Inn.

Chained to poverty,
Child in tow,
nowhere to go.

Fallen from grace?
Does the reason really matter?

Father, mother, sister brother,
she has, he has, they have—
No place to stay.

Nameless homeless faces
seeking shelter from the pain.
Got no cover, only rain.

Some were soldiers
who stood tall,
followed orders,
held the wall,
sharing spaces
in paradise lost,
the melting pot,
the patchwork-quilt,
of down and out.

Some catch a break
at the local mission.
Others
craft cardboard cabins,
a resource rescued from a dumpster dive,
remnants of a gentler time.

As a child, was a plaything,
a castle or a fort;
now a mattress
for the dampness,
insulation—
a flimsy shield
a place to yield
from the cold—
a cocoon,
a cardboard womb.

The fetal tenant,
waiting birth,
an emergence
to another life.
Maybe a better life,
maybe a safer life,
maybe

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