A poem about homelessness, “salt of the earth”

February 11, 2016

if I were homeless,
would you have allowed me on this stage?
would you be listening to my voice
the way you are hearing me now,
or would your ears be averted, in fear of the truth?

if i were homeless,
would it bother you if I ordered a drink?
would you raise your glass to cheers mine
just to celebrate the mere existence of alcohol
or would you take shots at my presence
the minute I left the room?

Let’s me make a toast!
Here’s to making love to privilege!
Here’s to our relationship with
the high-rise hotels,
the big box stores that block our voice box,
the night life and the lunatics
that litter the streets of Charleston.

let each of our love children
build vacant summer homes
that cast silhouettes on dirty streets.
let’s step on the seeds that we’ve planted
and make $13 cocktails from the fruit of snakes.
let Mother Nature
drown out the forgotten offspring of our greed
as we drown our sorrows on dry land

if I were homeless,
would I be more than a shadow under a bridge?
ash on concrete? a feel-good Sunday field trip?
would I think it was ok to live in a tent?

if I were homeless,
would you have let me get on this stage?