Jacob Lawrence, The Party (1935)
After they were expelled from the sober house they lived in her car,
or, on warm days, sleeping on the beach.
They didn't know what resources were available,
so that they would go days without showers,
finally panhandling enough cash for a motel room,
where they'd feel like royalty for a night,
in a bathroom with complimentary shampoo.
They were engaged and pregnant and entirely without plan,
or hope, or thought for anything beyond the next drink,
the next pizza slice, the next motel.
One of her preposterous stories of this time is that they held up a
tourist bus together, him brandishing a handgun, her walking down
the aisle with a brown paper bag demanding cash. "We were in
the newspaper," she said, proudly. Complete bullshit.
Weeks later she found the homeless shelter, and the resources which
an enlightened County government makes available. The ability to
shower allowed her to find work. She was addicted, and pregnant, and
alone. But, she was able to take a first step toward responsibility.
There are so many like her.
We took a trip to the shelter to donate clothes,
and there were a hundred there, many of them addicted, many pregnant,
Name one thing in this world which matters more than the lives of these people.
Back to the Homeless TOC.
© 2002-2013 Mark Phillips.
All rights reserved.
This writing is fiction. Please don't confuse it with reality.