The Homeless Man – a poem by Paul Vincent Cannon

Ugly – Word of the Day





The Homeless Man

The homeless man had no claim on you
but you imagined it so
and resented him
for intruding your conscience
and awakening the possibility
that you might be his one
serendipitous moment,
accusing him of wanting money
you did not have, and
compassion you could not find,
without a word you judged him
while unaware
his very silence shamed you.

©Paul Vincent Cannon




Filed under Free Verse, life, poem

66 responses to “The Homeless Man – a poem by Paul Vincent Cannon

  1. powerfully profound … even friendly greeting helps 😦

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Here in Seattle this is epidemic. Overwhelming. I think we all want to help but just can’t. That’s part of the shame if it. The way the city is run has attracted people from all over to end up here. It was meant to be altruistic and it’s ruined the city. Tents and garbage everywhere is beginning to equal disdain and that’s too bad, really.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. To make eye contact, to speak to him . . . everyone has that much to give.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. “without a word you judged him” Yes, so true just through lack of eye contact we do that. Yet, if we approached someone for directions and they put their head down and kept walking, our first reaction would be how rude. Even a simple, no I’m sorry I can’t help, at the very least shows our humanity. Timely, issue you write of, here on my holiday, homelessness is quite prevalent.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. This is so true!
    A great point Paul.

    Liked by 4 people

  6. You get right to the heart of the matter, Paul.

    Liked by 4 people

  7. Excellently written♡

    Liked by 3 people

  8. Ah, yes! You know how to paint a picture/ insert a message, Paul.

    Liked by 3 people

  9. Such a powerful message, it strikes the heart of most of us I feel sure.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Very powerful poem Paul, maybe it will create a ripple effect and bring about some small change for the better.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. I am nominating you for The Mystery Blogger Award. You can check it out on my blog for today, April 22nd. No obligation! Just appreciation for you and your blog!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Ah yes. I’m planning a piece on this issue too. It is ironic that it is not even on the agenda now, if you know what I mean.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Great piece, Paul!
    We donate to the Illinois Food Bank. People need to do more and education has a lot to do with it.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Ennle Madresan

    Marvelous poem, Paul…the homeless situation, which is NOT a situation–it is PEOPLE–is hard and complicated. In the US, my sympathy for them is often criticized, because it’s true that some of the homeless population choose the streets over the bureaucratic b.s. which would provide housing and other services. I don’t know the answers…if I see someone with a sign, and I feel I’m safe, I give them what I have.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. “resented him
    for intruding your conscience
    and awakening the possibility
    that you might be his one
    serendipitous moment”

    Yes, this is the process people go through in justifying their cold heartedness or even their turning a blind eye. Such a paradigm shift to imagine that we have the potential to be someone’s serendipitous moment… so powerful and well written.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. lync56

    Thought provoking but sadly true I think


    Liked by 1 person

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