Saturday, January 23, 2016

Come, Vern ... Let's Go Home


Come, Vern ... Let's Go Home
By Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee/@GeeGranny

Sitting in darkness ... cold, cold darkness
I peeped out through the slit in the canvas tent
I sat in ... bundled up in every rag I could find

Praying that no one would bother me
While I sat here vulnerable, at the mercy
At the mercy of the world ... please don't notice me

Rain fell heavily on the tent I lived in
I could see it in the night light I camped near
The only comfort in my life was that one light

To keep the darkness at bay
Keep fear, grief away ... I needed the light
Somehow, the cold didn't feel as cold

I heard someone cough nearby ... I froze
Please Lord, keep them away
Don't let them know I'm here alone

I was too bulked up in the rags
To fight back ... I couldn't bend my arms
It would be hard to stand up

I needed the rags to survive
They were a godsend ... as long as I didn't have to fight
To survive ... I thought I'd found a safe place to live

Feet scuffed the frozen ground outside my tent
I couldn't breathe ... fear gripped me
Death lurked near ... I was going to die tonight

I heard Death walk closer to my tent
I was all alone in this big, old world
No one knew me ... knew I was here

Only Death would know who I was ... where I was at
Not a living soul would know anything about me
I stayed to myself, never attracting attention

My whole world had gone away
I was just living until I died
I didn't want to kill myself ... though I wondered if I should

My hands began peeling off the rags
Never making a sound ... they came off easily
As they were just wrapped around and around

My body rose up from the ground
I felt that old fighting spirit rise up in me
It had hidden ... but, not anymore

I slipped quietly to the opening to peer outside
Saw the dark figure standing not far away
It turned ... I knew it was looking at me

I was afraid ... but, I was meeting Death head-on
I wasn't going to just die without a fight
I opened the slit wider ... stepped out

Death!  I spoke in a soft, quiet voice
I'm afraid of you ... you might take me tonight
Not without one helluva fight ... I'm not going easily

You've taken every loved one I ever had ... away
Now ... you want to take me?
No!  I thought I wanted to die ... but, I'm not ready

Death stepped toward me ... I wanted to hide
I held my ground ... didn't back down
I'm not ready to go ... I know now, I have things to do

I knew at this very moment what I was going to do
It sure wasn't going to be dying tonight
I had fallen flat on my face ... sunk as low as low

I held myself straight, tall ... powerful
While looking Death in the face
You be gone, Death!  Go now ... I have things to do!

Death looked me in the face ... pointed its finger at me
I stiffened my body ... stayed strong
I sensed Death felt respect for me

A mere poor, broken shell of a person
Yet ... standing strong as I could be
I defied Death ... afraid ... yet, ready to fight

I felt as if Death wanted to hug me
The coldness went away ... I felt warmth
Was it Hell burning ... or was it from Death's heart

The warmth made my cold body feel better
I could feel my feet, legs now
I could walk ... walk out of my Hell I lived in

Death turned its back on me ... walked into the night
I turned, looked at the tent I had existed in
It was time to break Hell wide open

There wasn't anything in the tent that would go with me
In my bra ... I had all I needed
It was time to walk out of Hell ... do things I needed to do

My feet began walking away from my camp site
Up the small hill ... I stepped onto the sidewalk
Back onto the face of the earth ... I was alive!

I looked a sight .... unkempt, maybe dirty
As I could only bathe when the weather was warm
I probably smelled bad ... I wouldn't get near any living soul

I walked five miles ... I came to a house on Elm Street
It was my house ... it was furnished, utilities still on
I had paid for them each month ... using pay phones

I reached inside my bra for a small, purple and green purse
I unzipped it ... took a key out ... walked up onto the porch
Put the key inside the door ... opened it, went inside

Locking the door behind me ... I took a deep breath
Walked to the thermostat ... turned the heat higher
Went to the bathroom .... ran a hot tub of water

Pulled the rags off ... stuffed them into the waste basket
I wouldn't be needing them anymore
I was back home now ... I had some living to do

I turned the covers down on my bed
Slipped under them ... pulled me around me
I was cozy, warm ... I closed my eyes, slept

Got up the next day ... I began to live
I was a rich woman ... but, I hadn't lived like one
I had gone to live with the homeless people I loved

I knew now, I would begin making dreams come true
Not for myself ... for others who needed them desperately
I would begin with the homeless people I cared about

I would take money I was going to leave behind
While living until I died in the homeless world
Use it for good ... instead of leaving it for others to enjoy

I knew the first person I would help
I drove near where I knew he was ... a poor, broken soul
He was sitting on a bench ... holding his chest

His name was Vern ... an old, crippled man
He'd been homeless for many years
Because he was an alcoholic ... he couldn't live with anyone

His body trembled as he sat coughing, wheezing
Vern had emphysema, he was a sick man
I wanted him off the streets

I got out of my car, walked over to where Vern sat
He looked up at ... looked closer, smiled
He recognized me, called my name

Yes, it's me, Vern ... I came here to take you away
To a nice place for you to live in peace, safety until you die
It's a small travel trailer ... cozy, warm

It's in my back yard so, I can look after you
If you drink, it's okay ... you will be in your own home
No strings attached ... no one will hurt you, I'll watch over you

Vern looked up at me with his red-rimmed eyes
Tears flowed down his face
Sobs shook his shoulders as he cried

Come, Vern ... let's go home
He stood up, let me help him walk
To the car, get inside ... buckle up

I took Vern home to live out his life
He had good food, shelter ... safety
Vern lived out his life ... he lived there for 2 years

In the meantime, I helped many homeless people
Go to a home where they could live safely
No one to bother them ... they lived out their lives

I became happier each time I helped someone
I had a purpose in life ... saving the world
I couldn't save the whole world

But, I could save one person, one by one
Who knows how many I could save until the day I died
Yes, I had a lot of living ... a lot of giving to do before I died

Note by this Author:

I was thinking about living in the homeless world ... how one could just give up ... go there.  No one would care ... notice you are gone.

Why would I think such thoughts?  Because it's my nature to imagine, think about everything.  Because ... in today's time a person could end up homeless if they have become OLD ... have no money.  Unless ... angels watched over them, protected them from such.

Vern is a real homeless man whom I met earlier this month.  I had compassion for him.  He was sick with emphysema, and he said he had a drinking problem ... no one wanted him.

I had such compassion ... and wished so much to have extra money to give to him to make his life somehow better.  I didn't even have change on me.  He never asked for anything ... I just wanted to give.

I have a special feeling for homeless people.  I always have, always will.  When I wrote this poem ... I was imagining if I didn't have my world ... my Husband, Pups .... would I give up, just live until I die?

As I wrote ... I could feel myself resigned to die until Death brought out my fighting spirit ... I felt myself rise up ... realize I had a purpose in life.

I don't know my purpose in my life ... I'd like to think I'm not a wasted soul.  I hope somehow through writing I can touch others in a good way.  I'm not perfect ... I am a good person with a big Heart ... loving, caring.

Photo/poem owned, written by Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee.


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