Have you ever wondered about the homeless men or women you pass in the street? How did they get there? Could you wind up on the unforgiving pavement yourself? Somerville poet Anne Ardery ponders this with her poem Mist.
Originally from Louisville, Kentucky, Anne now lives in Somerville and works at Diesel Cafe in Davis Square. On leave from Harvard University, where she has been pursuing her undergraduate degree in English and American Literature and Language, Anne explores prose, poetry, and local spoken word performances.
it’s raining out. well,
not quite rain. more like mist.
swollen violins. piano key cradles.
fingers rocking back and forth.
on cell phones. or with headphones.
i’ve stopped giving the homeless man change.
i’ve stopped giving him cigarettes too.
he’s got an ugly boil on his right cheek.
but nobody pays him much of a glance anyway.
the mist is coming down.
the people are passing.
he’s still standing.
and i’m sitting. watching.
i wonder what his loneliness feels like.
i wonder if it feels like mine.
like being a damp piece of newsprint.
ink headlines getting all cloudy.
thin pages starting to tear apart by their own weight.
the lamp posts are sweating.
black beads. umbrellas. like funerals.
nobody else knows they’re supposed to be mourning.
except the homeless man. and me.
– Anne Ardery
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