Wednesday, October 25, 2006


today we spent an entire day tackling the issues of homelessness in my class(from a health care perpective) we saw a dvd premier about street nursing in downtown east side van. It was an amazing presentation- anyways after my first class today I jsut had to write this poem- basically my thoughts, responses to and a bit of looking back on what most caught my attention in looking at the life of a homeless person now- keep in mind I am not an english major or anything- just a nursing student that feels that I can make a difference in this world somehow- so here it is:

Today I learned more about you,
how much that sandwich I gave you really meant.
You walked miles all day long
just to get some morsels of food.
From the sisters at the church
you waited in line for 2 hours to get some soup.
The coffee and the dougnut were another few miles away.
You take so many footsteps
Time is spent on fulfilling your physical needs
to survive.
There's no time to think about other things.
what's important is your next meal,
where you'll lay your head tonight.
But really, is good going to fix this?
A job?
I don't have the ability to break
the cycle of poverty for you.
You've seen and experienced things
I've never been exposed to,
prostituting yourself and the jerk refuses to pay,
trading sex for a place to sleep.
Now, circumstance after circumstance in your life
here you are.
Who can help you- is it the government?
Do they really understand though?
You say you don't have a job because you don't have the education,
that you don't have the education because you don't have the money
and don't have the money because you don't have the job.
What can I do?

1 comment:

  1. OH Keeg. This poem ripped my heart out. What a soft heart God has given you. This is what makes you a great nurse. I know it's hard to think that we make a difference in the big picture....but we do. If we change their bed linens or sit down to have a conversation, those are the things they will recall years later; not how well we did their IV med or gave them their injection. A warm smile and a kind heart. Those are the most powerful tools we have as student nurses.