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David J Delaney

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Member Since: May, 2008

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Heros Amongst Us
by David J Delaney

Monday, June 09, 2008
Rated "G" by the Author.
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Recent poems by David J Delaney
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           >> View all 60

The old saying "never judge a book by its cover" applies here.


Hero’s Amongst Us

Sitting on this bench, my lunch I start to eat
Drawing nearer, wobbly cane, shuffling his feet
Stop’s at a bin, starts rummaging through
Rubbish falls, finding his holey old shoes.

Moving along, now people step aside
Not knowing his pain, how many times he cried
Guiding their young away, thinking he’s not well
Keeping their distance, offended by his pungent smell.

Long moth eaten coat, old canvas bag
Dirty beanie covers knotted hair, blue eyes so sad
Settles next to me like many times before
Asking, “You OK Ben, the leg still stiff and sore?”

We sat, talked for half hour or so
Ben said “Well time’s for me to go”
Always struck me as well educated
Though at times appeared quite inebriated.

Prising himself to stand, slowly walks away
This routine, he’s done almost every day
“See you tomorrow if that’s OK with you.”
He says, “Fine Sonny s’longs the sky’s blue.”

Thinking of my home, furniture and comforts abound
While this old man’s content sleeping on the ground
Cardboard box warms him from windy night chills
Not interested in creams, lotions or pills.

Happy to live in his box of board
Meager possessions in his bag are stored
Old camping matt gives some support
Inner warmth comes from a bottle of old port.

Christmas day at the shelter, standing in line
Hearty meals served, he’d had a grand time
Home to his box for a good nights sleep
From the Salvo’s a new coat, his to keep.

People’s perceptions can be mean and narrow minded
On the homeless their comments, so misguided
Turning their backs on these unfortunate souls
Unconcerned at what past lives hold.

Again on the bench hoping for Ben to appear
Hearing some women talking quite near
“Haven’t seen that grubby old man around
With any luck he’s long left town.”
Opening the paper, in bold print I read
“Another old man, yesterday found dead”
My body’s feeling numb as I read on
Knowing it was Ben, not believing he was gone.

Police searched his lot, found in his bag
Historic memento’s no one knew he had
A local reporter moved by Ben’s plight
Wrote this article that very night.

Shiny medals, ribbons from campaigns past
Ben’s story, finally told at last
Folded letters and a glorious citation
This man who unselfishly gave to this nation.

Saving four young boys from certain death
He alone destroyed a machine gun nest
Recovering in a field hospital bed
His tour over, with this mangled leg.

Unable to escape the horrors his mind bore
This man of men brought to his knees by war
Couldn’t mould back into society
Wrestling inner demons alone, quietly.

Sitting on this bench, my lunch I start to eat
Drawing nearer an old hobo unsteady on his feet
Wondering how many like Ben are around
Living with their memories, sleeping on the ground.

David J Delaney


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Reviewed by Stephanie Murray 10/3/2008
I am so impressed with your compassion, and open mind. We ourselves could easily face the same situation.So glad I got to read this.God Bless You!

Reviewed by Valerie Roeske 8/26/2008
You write with beauty thru every line, such a warming tribute to Ben, and yes how many stories go untold, you have a gem here, well worth many reads, Take care, Valerie
Reviewed by Karla Dorman, The StormSpinner 7/17/2008

A lump in me throat - I thought only America forgot its debt to those who serve - tragic! Powerfully, poignantly, PAINFULLY penned - well done.

(((HUGS))) and love, Karla.

God bless our men and women in uniform - who give all -
Reviewed by Liana Margiva 7/3/2008
EXCELLENT!!!!!!!!!!!!! THIS IS ONLY ONE WORD, WHICH I CAN SAY!!!!!!!!!!!!! Liana Margiva

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