Archive for the ‘displacement’ Category

The Wind

March 16, 2018

The Wind

This is how I feel—this is exactly how I feel. The wind is hard; it is harsh and it is striking my face. The woman had these thoughts in her head as she thought about the new crisis in her life. She was threatened with homelessness, with sleeping on the street again after having been inside in a cramped apt. The apt. was the roof over her head, the only roof she had, the only roof available. She listened to the heavy duty traffic. This is just what I need, she said to herself as she smiled. All this mirrors my mood. This chaos, this nightmare that I have inside is the new problem. It is the so hard to solve problem. I hate it! I hate myself for not having the solution to it. A new gust of wind struck her face. Enough! This is enough! What to do now. I need to concentrate on that and that only. My life—what will happen to my life from now on and beyond. I have to live it until I die—but how and where?




The Bags

March 14, 2018

The Bags

There were one, two and three bags. She was behind them; her body shivered and her eyes stared at the sidewalk. Hundreds of people had gone by that morning. She had tried to forget that she was by the corner of a bustling street in a large city. She didn’t want to know. Once or twice her head went up. So many of them; she saw so many strangers all at once. They were busy (or pretended to be busy) with their own affairs. She put her hands on her knees. The veins stood out; the skin had begun to wrinkle a year or two ago. Hand lotion didn’t disguise the passing of the years for very long. She put her arms around her chest. The legs obeyed her thoughts. Getting up was a challenge. She made it across the street—safety was hers at last.



Raw Storm Scene

March 7, 2018

Raw Storm Scene

White, white and more even white falls on the sidewalk, the streets, everywhere. People and their umbrellas caught by the wind stumble, then keep on walking. They skip the black ice areas if they can; most walk as fast as possible. At one end of a street, a man sits on a piece of cardboard. A large black umbrella covers his head. At the other end, someone is sitting on three United Post office crates, the kind that postal workers use. The person looks up at the sky; the shoulders first, then the head shake. She looks towards the man. That we should be out on such a day! We would rather be nice and cozy somewhere, not here in the wild of the storm. People hand her single dollar bills. She looks at their hands. Thank you. Thank you very much. The snow has turned her black pants white. Her fingers shake it off.





The Sidewalk Stiff

March 6, 2018

Sidewalk Stiff

She sits with an empty white coffee cup next to her. She looks up at the passers -by and she waits. She waits 1, 2, 3, sometimes 4 or more hours. The street is noisy and crowded. She keeps waiting, sometimes looking up, sometimes making believe she is reading the free morning paper. None of this matter she would say if she could; what she is doing is an eccentric person’s hobby. She doesn’t need the money that she is not getting. There are no results; she came to the site early for nothing. She attempts to get up from her milk crate. Her hand holds on to the car by the curb. Her legs feel stiff. One movement forward and another and then another movement to the corner—she does this slowly. The light changes. It is just in time; now she can get herself feel normal. She is who she once was.




The Bag of Bread

March 3, 2018

The Bread

It was there—the big slices of white bread were inside a clear plastic bag. The person walked by the busy street, looked down at the open black garbage bag and saw the bread. There were 2 more bags of white bread; these were larger. The person didn’t need the larger bags; the small bag would do. She walked on 2 more blocks. It was too much; the temptation got hold of her. After all, it’s wrapped and it’s clean. If I don’t take it, somebody else will. She walked back. The black garbage bag still had the bread. Tourists went passed her. She bent down and got the bread. Done! Now it’s mine and I can make toast with it.

Fitting In

February 16, 2018


You don’t fit in. You are no one; everybody thinks that you are nobody, nobody at all. The way you look is not the look they want. They want a different look, something that will be like them. You walk a certain way; you carry yourself a certain way. Your clothes are shabby; they dress with style. None of it is their way and never will be. You can’t pretend to be another type of person. You can’t back down. That will not work. You are out. You are definitely out. The photograph is taken without you.



In or out

February 12, 2018


To fit in—there is, there always has been, a need to belong somewhere, anywhere. An outsider, she is an outsider always with her nose stuck on the glass window. She looks at all the people who have made it, all the people who are in. They are part of a group and they have the badge to prove it. They have done something, whatever that something was, to make their selves known, to make themselves seen. How can she, this now older person, be herself when her real self is not accepted? She’s just not what is accepted; she’s not what the people want. Her eyes close; a minute or two of rest, of forgetting so she won’t have to think. She is no stranger to the harsh realities of life. Harsh realities have been her companions for a long time—more time than she cares to remember.













The Beautiful Soul

February 6, 2018

Beautiful Soul

A beautiful soul—you once said I had a very beautiful soul. I thought you treasured that; I believed you’d take care of it, that you’d appreciate kindness and good will towards you. Your life before I met you must have been a rough one. You probably had to battle demons inside and out. Your battles with life must have stunned and shaken you. Many of them you could not shake off. Picking up your body and mind must have been a great effort. We met too late for you to change. All you can now do is to be lucid sometimes now and then. The rest of the time you are simply not there for anyone.



Many Things

January 21, 2018

Many Things
I have done many things. I have been to many places, seen things I wished I hadn’t and things I wish I could have kept forever. I have been good but I also have been normal. I am flesh and blood; I feel deeply. That has often been my downfall. I care and when I care I care too much. I want to keep those I love forever. It isn’t often possible and when they’re gone, I can’t understand why. I don’t know where to turn, who to seek. My heart wanders in the deep snow of a New York winter. I am done when I cry. I fall apart.

Don’t Know

January 10, 2018

Don’t Know

You don’t. You don’t know. It is insecurity—it is more than insecurity, more than looking up in the dark at the lights shining inside an apt. or house. It is being hurt over and over again and not knowing what will happen next. It is expecting the worst from life in spite of all the good wishes of this or that person. Homelessness—homelessness does that to a person. It rips the person apart, makes the person feel devastated and terribly alone in a snowstorm.