Invisible Children (of God)


“In memory of Raymond, our friend”


Man down—
In the alley—
Not moving—
Not well—
In the alley—
Out back—

        A man-shaped hole sits in our midst uptown—
        No longer occupied by a grizzled beard
        Stained by spaghetti or some cheap noodle,
        Not inhabited by caustic odors
        From the dusty jeans or the rust-blue cap
        Of an invisible oft-seen stranger.
        Our town no longer houses this burden:
        Shifting around, to pass, his lean-up cane;
        Fumbling about, to slip, his blue-eyed gaze;
        Yelling a curse, to blame, his drunk-up life.

        A man-shaped hole sits in our midst uptown—
        No longer occupied by his aged face
        Stained by depression or some life trauma
        Not inhabited by the handshook welcome
        From the toothless mouth or the blood-warm heart
        Of an inscrutable oft-smiled neighbor.
        Our shrugsmugged hearts still mar his burden:
        Pausing abrupt, to see, his lonely life;
        Being amidst, to know, his silent name;
        Coming along, to share, his suffered self.

Man died.
He fell.
In the alley.
Not having.
Not known.
In the alley.
No family.
 No blood.




Filed under Poetry

2 responses to “Invisible Children (of God)

  1. Emily Axe

    I go to many meetings in Columbus with the Ohio Coalition of Homeless Advocates and many of these shelters are in bigger cities where they have memorial days for those who have died while living on the streets.
    In our area where poverty if often in secret I feel this memorial to Raymond is a beautiful display of friendship that we get to have with others in different economic situations other than our own.
    Thank you Cory for using a gift of putting words together in just the right way to remember Raymond, our friend.

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