Carpe See ‘em
Homeless souls – some call them “bums on the street”
Folded small into their desperate beat
Solo bench or so-low depressed bunch
Waiting for a handout or maybe a lunch
One lady says, “Why bring him into this place?
I don’t mind bums but, right here in my face?”
She’s talking about Ed, who’s depressed, just like me
We’re cousins in ways other people can’t see
Tells me over bagels, he’s long out of work
Routed from working by some kinda jerk
who left a buzzsaw blade-out where he shouldn’t
Blindsided my new friend Ed, who couldn’t
avoid it, no matter how cautious… so now
Ed lives on a deadwood bench – but somehow
he knows “sometimes better’s bound to come”
His faith is real strong… so now who’s the “bum”?
Aforementioned lady attends church every week
I say, “You know, you just called Jesus a freak”
© 2014 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil
Image obtained through Creative Commons thanks to psyberartist – see licensing HERE.
Imaginary Garden With Real Toads’ Grapeling challenged us to “carpe diem” and remember Robin Williams and his struggles with depression by choosing some words from a list and writing on the subject in whatever way we chose. Since I live on Bipolar Boulevard, all I had to do was walk outside, take this guy to lunch, and we ended up having a great conversation. He turned me on to a bagel place I’d never heard of; we had strong, fair-trade coffee; and over the speakers, I was gifted with a song I will use in ministry tomorrow… but that’s a story for another day.
Robin Williams used to make my hands shake a bit, remembering the cocaine days as he’d imp and jester his way through routines at spitfire pace. But I also recognized what lurked under the surface, as with Jonathan Winters (who was given a gig on “Mork and Mindy” at Williams’ insistence), Lou Costello of Abbot and Costello (whose depression was compounded when his two-year-old son drowned in his family’s new swimming pool, there’s Hollywood irony for you), and so many more. Lots of comedians learn their craft as children, trying to cheer up a family member or escape bullying or simply stand out. Jim Carrey comes to mind.
The woman in this poem actually ‘called me out’ while Ed took a bathroom break. It’s like people don’t want to see the homeless, but they don’t mind bitching about them when they are not in the room. She’s the kind of “Christian” who gives the rest of us a bad name.
May Robin’s family find peace. Thanks for the laughs, Robin. I’m sorry you couldn’t see a tomorrow in sight. Peace, Amy