My Poem “Rough”

There will be so many people
sleeping rough with a hard pavement
as their place of rest this Christmas…
There will be so many homeless men and women
sleeping on park benches
or on the green grass of public places
as they try to stay alive
as best that they can over the festive season…
There are so many people who I see daily,
weekly, sitting or lying on the ground
with their heads as low as they can go
who look as if they have given up
and as if they have lost any sense of hope:
people who feel like living on the streets
is their only option
because they have nowhere else to go…
I cannot imagine how it must feel
to live such a life of desperation –
there are people who do give whatever they can
to people who are homeless,
and there are even churches
requesting anyone who can
to donate a coat that they no longer wear
so that someone who hasn’t got one
and someone who needs one can have one…
I have asked myself many times
what the answer is to this troubling
epidemic of homeless people
that is endemic to big cities
all around the world –
from New York City in the U.S.A.
to Birmingham in the U.K. –
and the unfortunate reality
that always presents itself to me
is that there is no silver arrow idea
that could completely put an end
to the problems felt and carried every day
within the heart and the mind
of those who live on the street…
All the money in the world is not enough,
love alone is not enough,
and time is not always the greatest of healers
to a long-term problem…
Life is not always easy for anybody –
however, I believe that we as human beings
need to start turning our attention
more to those people who feel like
they do not have much,
those people who need to be given a hand
and lifted up off of the ground:
those people for whom life is as hard
as the ground that they sleep upon
each and every night,
and those people for whom every day of their life
is as rough as it could ever be.

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