Updated date:

I Saw a Man With Dirt on His Face.

I have been writing poetry, fiction and short stories for many years and have completed a book of poems. I also enjoy comedy writing.



I saw a man with dirt on his face.

He dwelled on the street, didn't have his own place.

He sat on the corner with his ragged hat turned up and a harmonica in his mouth.

Many feet passed his hat, some heading North, some heading South.

A fine dressed man walked by in an expensive suite.

"Kind sir, I am so cold. Could you help me by a soup?"

The man turned his face away but not before an unpleasant remark.

"Go find a job your worthless twat."

The old man was humiliated and sank back in his little corner.

Without food, shelter and warmth, in the cold, he was sure to be a gonner.

Then a nice looking young lady came by as he started a sad song on his Harmonica.

She stood there, looking, listening at his musical cries for America.

Tears ran from her eyes as the old man brought back memories for her father.

He was diagnosed with Alzheimer, wondered off and died out yonder.

Her heart was broken, she cried, she pondered.

She walked across the street and later came back with an hot meal for the old man.

He jumped up with joy and stretch out is wrinkled hands.

"Oh my, thank you, thank you so much."

I don't know what I would have done because my hat had in nothing much."

I was not always living on the streets you know.

I had a job, a wife and family but society let me go.

They took my home and I lost my job.

Then my wife left me and took away my kids and remarry my best friend Bob.

I was devastated, my mind was broken.

Now here I am on the streets, homeless and begging for a token.

The young lady held out her hand and said, "Come with me."

The old man cried and hugged her in disbelief.

"I lost my dad a few years back and you so much remind me of him."

"I will give you a roof over your head, my friendship, as long as that harmonica sings."

That day, the homeless old man became homeless no more,

An angel had come to his rescue for sure.

© 2018 Clive Williams


RTalloni on October 15, 2018:

Well, the why for the grand scheme of things is that we live in a fallen world. When people reject what God offers through His Son, Jesus the Christ, they do not have what they need to give them real victory over the "fallenness" we are all born into. Not all become street people, many do well, but all seek the thing that is missing from their soul until they either find Him or give themselves to all that goes with self-satisfaction, good works, and more.

However, it is true–so many whys along the paths people take, and I meant to add that I appreciated the sentiment of your poem that encourages people to have more compassion, to see through needy people's facades and past their brokenness so we can try to find ways to help others in need.

As FlourishAnyway mentions, we need to be sure of truth in people's stories if we really want to help those in desperate situations. Along the lines of what she mentions, the recent hurricanes have pushed street people back up into areas they are not usually in this time of year. It's an old problem for everyone when we have these storms, including the street people because the season changes quickly.

Their stories are all along the lines of being down and out, but it is impossible to know who is safe and who is not among them. Knowing what charities are valid in one's area is important because that allows us to both donate to them and to know which ones to direct people in need to.

Yes, we can take the time to buy a meal, but the reality is that even doing that simple act can be dangerous. We need to be careful for ourselves and our families. If any question that fact all they have to do is ask those who have been victimized. The stories are heartbreaking.

That some have been victimized when trying to help the homeless does not mean we should not try to help others, it just means that we need to be wise and careful about what we do. FlourishAnyway mentioned that the police knew more about what was happening in that situation, a caution to people to be careful.

FlourishAnyway from USA on October 15, 2018:

I was intrigued by Roberta’s whys as I would ask many of those myself. Recently there has been a rash of people claiming to be homeless or abused who wait in a local grocery store parking lot and ask for money. The police, however, have indicated that many of them have been involved in car break ins and thefts. If I gave money for this cause, I’d give to homeless charities not individuals.

Clive Williams (author) from Jamaica on October 15, 2018:

RTalloni. There are so many Whys in this world which can never be answered. Why do we need to know why and not just trust upon faith?

Why do governments have to be at war but instead of two men fighting they send our sons and daughters to kill for them? Why are there still people who are born seeing colors? Why?

Clive Williams (author) from Jamaica on October 15, 2018:

Pamela, Government cares little for wounded soldiers.

RTalloni on October 15, 2018:

Thought provoking, for sure. Compassionately reaching out to help people is a truly lovely sentiment and it would be lovely if it were a simple process, but I often wonder about the whys because it is important to know them before stepping into situations. Why is the fine suited man so hard hearted? What happened to make him so? Why is the young woman so naive as to take the man at his word? What if he is lying? Why is the poor old man on the street? What is the truth, or the whole truth? It may seem cynical to wonder about all these things but the truth is predators don't tell the truth to people they intend to take advantage of and/or victimize, and most people are to some degree compassionate unless being victimized has hardened them. Of course, the bigger picture is the why behind the various reasons so many people being on the street in dreadful conditions.

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on October 15, 2018:

I liked this poem and loved the sentiment. I see older men on the street occasionally, and I wonder why. I know many are Vietnam vets, and that breaks my heart. They were treated so poorly on their return from a war that lasted so long.

Clive Williams (author) from Jamaica on October 15, 2018:

Blessings Jodah.

John Hansen from Gondwana Land on October 14, 2018:

Beautiful sentiments in this story/poem Clive. Good job.

Clive Williams (author) from Jamaica on October 14, 2018:

Your boy has a good heart Eric

Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on October 14, 2018:

This reminds me so much of our resident homeless. We live out a bit from the city and have a great canyon that many call home. My boy and I do blankets from our VFW "thrift" store. And he insists on water too. They must be thirsty dad and maybe they could wash with it.

I don't really get it but they just seem like our neighbors.

Related Articles