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They lived in an old shack
at the mountain’s base out back
for everything they did lack
brought their lunch in a paper sack
Were as poor as they could be
just as everyone could plainly see
pranks at their expense weren’t funny
to all of my brothers and me
The eldest of them a girl
and was precious as a pearl
whose golden hair she did twirl
around her finger in a banana curl
Then came a most brooding boy
whose concentration did best to employ
alone with his food to toy
seemed to be nothing he did enjoy
Their parents were some older folks
whom were also the butt of jokes
which then only the son’s ire stokes
’til he throws at them a few pokes
When you get to the nitty-gritty
coming down to school in the city
for neither of them was pretty
but especially not for Miss Kitty
After all their schooling was done
out of this town they did run
but the damage which had begun
then over the years eventually won
The son was the first to die
for no matter how hard he try
he couldn’t let sleeping dogs lie
and overdosed on a heroin high
And their daughter then was next
who felt her life had been hexed
being ever distraught and vexed
a suicide note to them did text
Leaving their elderly parents alone
who in their grief did moan
“Why was there no compassion shown
by anyone they had ever known?!”
Now with my story all done
can you think if there’s anyone
a much beloved daughter or son
you’ve harassed or bullied for fun?
Teresa Brewer 12/6/11
I stuck my tongue out to catch the falling snowflakes. They fell upon my shoulders like dandruff but none landed on my tongue. An incoherent babble grew louder to my left. My attention shifted. An old, scraggly man hidden beneath an overgrown beard was “singing” for money. Living in the city desensitized people from the sights of the homeless. I stopped in mid-stride. He looked so pitiful and guilt constricted my heart. I couldn’t walk away, not this time. I scouted my pockets for a couple of coins and found five dollars. I left it in his hat and he grinned revealing all four of his teeth. My fingers caressed my pregnant stomach as I walked away. Maybe I hadn’t saved the man but with each act of kindness I could strive for a better world for my unborn child.
– Ermisenda Alvarez
And isn’t that just
how it’s supposed to be?
But way too many
the homeless don’t see
As being one of
the downtrodden and poor
and rather as those
who don’t try anymore
For our society does
no longer even care
“it’s their own fault”
does the public declare
Where is the compassion
that God does command?
“Look out for yourself”
of them we demand
To all those with
no change to spare
all I can say
is you’d better beware
‘Cause in this world
we’re living in today
you may be the next
to have it all taken away!
Teresa Marie 11/26/11
Dangers of a Catholic Upbringing
As I walked down a busy street, knowing I was late for Mass, my eye fell upon one of those unfortunate, homeless vagabonds (you know, tattered clothing, long hair etc) that are found in every town these days.
Some people turned to stare. Others quickly looked away as if the sight would somehow contaminate them..
Recalling my old parish priest, Father Mike, who always admonished me to ‘care for the sick, feed the hungry and clothe the naked,’ I was moved by some powerful inner urge to reach out to this unfortunate person.
Wearing what can only be described as rags, carrying every worldly possession in two plastic bags, my heart was touched by this person’s condition.
Yes, where some people saw only rags, I saw a true, hidden beauty.
A small voice inside my head called out, ‘Reach out, reach out and touch this person!’
So I did……
I won’t be at Mass this week…