If I Become Homeless

— Bonnie George

Shuffling along in a filthy blue coat
With a fur collar in 80 degree weather
He pushes an overloaded grocery cart
Impossible to steer to who-knows-where…
Papers falling out—blowing away—I wonder
Can a shopping cart be taken into a shelter?
What would my cart look like if I become homeless?
What treasures can fit into it…that matter most to me?

I think of needing to grab things and leave…
Like a foster child clutching a garbage bag, waiting
On the curb, for a ride to his next temporary placement

A bank repo documentary on TV shows a home filled with
Electronics, toys, furniture…everything…being gutted
All items thrown into dumpsters…as the bank ordered
Except what a frantic family carried to a shelter

Challenges are overcome with hope and determination
In the land of the free and home of the brave, where so
Many of us seize opportunities to start over after
Killer weather, bad choices and other circumstances

Packing my small suitcase, one like Mom had handy
Especially during tornado times in Evanston
When she ran down to hide in the basement
I see her smile and hear her pithy words:

“You never see a Brinks truck following a hearse!”
Filling my car with donations, feeling lighter already
I shake my head, hoping to always be on the
Giving side of needy and homelessness
And shelter


One of five teens helps
Make a weekly train of three carts…
Groceries for seven

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