As If I Was Never A Child

As if I was never a child,
People glare at me,
Hoping my existence will disappear.

As if I was never a child,
People tell me to scoot,
Seeing me,
As if I was an urban rat.

As if I was never a child,
As if I was never had dreams,
As if I still don’t.

I am told to move along,
Where others can sit in public,
I cannot.
Where others have the right to rest,
I do not.

But I was a child.
And I had a dream.
A dream of being a fireman,
Like so many other little boys.
But unlike others,
Pursued,
My dreams,
And passed
The test,
And got
The job.

On my way to work,
My first day,
Biking so proudly there,
I was hit by a car,
The hospital bills,
Took my savings.
And the pain,
Took my job.
And now,
I can barely walk.

With my home in my backpack,
My regrettably dirty clothes on my back.

People look at me,
As if I was never a child.

I wrote this poem because I have repeatedly seen those less fortunate than myself being shooed away by others, who, like myself, are fortunate enough to have homes.  Treated as if they were never innocent children.  One rarely knows the real reason why people are homeless just by looking at them.

My poem is fictional but based on one reason for people being homeless.  Many people become homeless due to catastrophic medical issues, such as accidents and cancer (not all homeless are mentally ill, some are just very poor).  I met one man who told me he became homeless after a bicycle accident and in the past he said that he had panhandled to buy a prothetic, he later found out that he could get a prothetic through Obamacare.  I have also met people who have jobs but are homeless because they cannot afford rent.  Below are some links about homelessness.

Here is a Wall Street Journal article that states: “There is no doubt the lack of affordable housing is the big driver in our homelessness numbers,”  at http://www.wsj.com/articles/homeless-population-in-u-s-declines-though-more-are-living-on-the-streets-1479358862   I think a simple solution would be a national rent control based on 25% of minimum wage after taxes and of course, universal healthcare.  Some would loose money on their homes and apartments but less would loose their homes and apartments and after the adjustment everyone except a few of the 1% would be better off.  Why should the government supplement the overpriced housing market rather than regulate the housing market so that it is in a realistic range for the average citizen?  Though I believe that subsidized housing should exist for those who are extremely poor.  Also when people can meet their basic needs crime goes down and that is good for everyone (except those who profit from privatized prisons).

“Many homeless people come into homelessness with existing health problems – for some, a health problem may be the cause of homelessness. Health care bills still remain a major cause of bankruptcy, which can lead to homelessness.” from http://www.endhomelessness.org/pages/faqs

Another article about reasons for homelessness http://www.nationalhomeless.org/factsheets/why.html

About Amy Marschak

I have been writing since I was little and found myself bored but yet still trapped in a classroom. So instead of staring out the windows at school, I would write poetry in the margins of all of my school notes. And in this way I could pass the time without having to listen to the teacher when they were being boring or depressing. A few of these poems are in my first book “Poetry for All Those Breathing” which is now in its Seventh Printing. Poetry has always been a way for me to be heard by my family. If I would simply state how I felt, I would frequently be ignored but if I wrote it as a poem, what I had to say would be listened to. Sometimes my parents would even cry when they heard my poetry.