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Jan 14
Passing out coats and blankets
At Tent City on the river bank
No more room at the mission
Out of sight is out of mind
Is what town said about it's decision

The homeless didn't like being there
A cold wind blows hard off the river
A city that really doesn't care
As long as they continue to be hidden
They had no warm clothes to wear

I met a man that everyone called Poe
His real name or not I may never know
He had a million stories to tell
Everyone gathered around in the snow
A steel barrel was burning very well

"We are just like lightning bugs
We're Living in a big clear jar
There are holes poked in the lid
Without those we can't get any air"
He said while waving with his hands

He talked while trying on his new coat
"I had one just this a long time ago
When I shook hands with Kennedy
And that pretty wife of his, Jackie O
It was April 1960 I do recall" said Poe

"Boys, keep one eye on the ground
You never know what you'll find"
He stopped talking and turned around
Poe looked hard and squinted his eyes
The church van stopped without a sound

I was ready to hear more fables
But went to help unload several boxes
Serving food we set up folding tables
Hot coffee freshly brewed in paper cups
I started passing out brand new Bibles

I handed one to Poe "thank you"
He said in a voice that was shaken
"I had a Bible just like this one, it's true
Way back when I was in Vietnam"
A single tear fell from his eyes of blue

He opened the book skimming through
"It's sad when the country I fought for
Leaves us here and forgets about you"
Poe said as I handed him a cup of coffee
He took a sip from the steaming brew

We went back a couple of days later
We brought more food and coffee
I looked but Poe was not in Tentland
They said that they found his body
In his tent with his Bible in his hand

I found his obituary in the paper
Edgar Allen Poe it read in print
Congressional Medal of Honor winner
Two Purple Hearts for service in Vietnam
Awarded to him by President Johnson

In the newspaper's obituary photo
It showed a young Mr. Edgar Allen Poe
He wore the exact coat we gave him
And standing with Kennedy and Jackie O
I'll always remember the man named Poe

--On a single night in January 2018, just over 37,800 Veterans were experiencing homelessness.

--On the same night, just over 23,300 of the Veterans counted were unsheltered or living on the streets.

--A total of 552,830 people were experiencing homelessness on a single night in 2018. This number represents 17 out of every 10,000 people in the United States

Β© 2020Β Β Michael Messinger(All rights reserved)
Homelessness Veteran's Poe
Written by
Michael Messinger  M/Ohio
     SPT and 7 others
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