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 describing 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 Three 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 While standing with Kennedy and Jackie O His story needs to be told again and again
Don't forget the man with a famous name 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.
Copyright © 2020 Mike Mezz (All rights reserved)