Sitting on the Curb

Posted: April 17, 2023 in Prose


I sit cross-legged on the curb
with my friends, my street family:
panhandlers, alcoholics, addicts.
We talk about the past, mostly,
although, current situations
come to the surface:
who will go on a liquor run,
who got out of prison,
where someone is sleeping tonight,
the problem of bed bugs,
a court appearance,
a ticket for a liquor violation
or for jumping a bus.

Someone asks for a cigarette
a beer, a swig of sherry
or a combination of the three.
A joint is passed, and a comment is made,
‘Don’t bogart it!’ (To selfishly hold a joint instead of passing it on.)
or someone warns, ‘6 up’ if the cops are near.

We know that we’re looked down upon
both literally and figuratively.
We notice expressions
on the faces of passers-by:
fear, disgust, annoyance.
We are sometimes verbally abused
or physically assaulted.
I won’t say it doesn’t bother me;
on the other hand, pedestrians passing by
are from another world where conditions are different. They’re entitled to their opinions, as I am to mine.

I’ve learned a lot, from sitting on the curb:
a new language, friendship, acceptance,
If I’m ever homeless I have people to turn to
for food, a blanket, a place to sleep,
maybe couch surfing in a bug-infested room,
or a piece of cardboard behind a dumpster.
I can depend on a friend to have my back,
or my 6 o’clock — if needed,
as I would have theirs.
I’ve learned to appreciate these things
and the people who offer them.
It’s all they have in the world
and they offer them to me.

I hear of growing up
with abusive, alcoholic parents,
children molested, beaten,
thrown out on the street.
It’s no wonder where they are,
what they are, who they are.
Where they are is in a family that cares.
Who they are is individuals, not a designation.
What they are is human, sensitive, caring people,
more like you, than you realize.
Most of all, they are my friends.
my street family.

Sample my books for free — To date, $1945.00 has been donated to the homeless

Gotta Find a Home: Conversations with Street People ($2.99 Download) ($2.99 Download) ($2.99 Download) ($2.99 Download)

They Call Me Red: ($2.99 Download)

Private Eye: Eugene Leftowicz ($2.99 Download)

Podcasts: Sara Troy:  Self-Discovery Media Sara Troy:  Positive Vibrations Roundtable Patricia Saunders: Writetimes Literacy Project

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