Dressed in the worn drab gray,
The old and young alike made their way.
Long were the lines that snaked for blocks
Along 42nd and Broadway.
Silence prevailed amongst the men,
Who sported dirty and unshaven chins.
It was not their choice to be this way,
For many here are new to this game.
Not long ago, jobs did they have,
Houses with yards and even a Saub.
However, that was then, and this is now,
Their only goal today is to get some chow.
I even recall hearing one old timer say
It has never been this bad on Christmas day.
The men continued their shuffle, side by side
Until they finaly reached the end of the line.
Once there they were greeted by the pleasant
Ladies of Our Grace who slopped small portions
Of beans over twice fried rice.
Merry Christmas I heard one man say
As he disappeared down a dark alleyway.
I followed him still thinking this a dream
For even I, this many homeless have I ever seen.
After all, was this not 2003 and the President
Said we have an economy in full steam.
Rounding the corner, I was shocked into
Dismay, for I saw entire families living this way.
Disgruntled became I, when my thoughts took the
Wings of flight and thus concluded this today.
What price was the war that we are still fighting?
200 billion and counting?
Tell me now I said again to self, how many families
Would this feed? Would they even be down this way?
If only we had fought this war another day.
I dropped my head and turned I in dismay, only to
Hear a small child say, “Hey mister, can you spare a dime”?
J. Allen Wilson © 2003