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The Cobblestone Street That Led to Heartache


She sat waiting by the phone all night and all day

He promised he would call her yesterday

She grew tired and weary, so she tied a yellow ribbon around her long black hair,

and began to walk, where she didn't care

She'd always been afraid of nighttime and the scary dark,

now she didn't care as she began to walk

She ventured into an unfamilar, dirty side street

Cobblestone wet and noisy as she made her way with a feeling of foreboding defeat


She saw an old man standing under a streetlight with a glass of whiskey in his hand

Then she saw three young hoodlums hit him, then pour the glass of whiskey on his head, lit a match engulfing him as he lay dying in the cobblestone sand

She looked and saw an old woman pushing a cart full of bits and pieces of all she had left in this uncaring world

She watched as the hoodlums pushed her, taking her cart, leaving her lying in the elements as the cold wind swirled

She tried to help her, but it was too late

She was already passing through the pearly gate

She started walking deeper through this Godforsaken place

She thought of her mother and father, how they tried to help her, her refusing, never looking in their worried face

She'd taken the wrong road map as she went from one bad place to another

Never once thinking how much she'd hurt her father and mother

She walked further into this den of hopelessness

Then seeing a young mother and her small child unable to find a safe place to rest

Then she sees a prostitute flirting with a middle-age man

Her arm around his waist, explaining how much for a one night plan

She watched as they departed in the direction of a shabby hole-in-the-wall

She started to cry softly, " Oh why Oh why Didn't he call? "


Ruby Jean Richert (author) from Southern Illinois on February 02, 2020:

Hello MG Singh. Emotions are what I was hoping for. I wrote this when I saw poor people standing outside at Walmart begging and people just looked the other way. Thanks again for visiting my page.

MG Singh emge from Singapore on February 02, 2020:

It's awesome and you have brought out real feelings and emotions. Thank you

Ruby Jean Richert (author) from Southern Illinois on January 16, 2020:

Hello Lorie, thank you. Glad you liked this piece and the video.

Lori Colbo from United States on January 16, 2020:

This is so powerful. It puts things into perspective surely. Nice work Ruby.

Love the video.

Ruby Jean Richert (author) from Southern Illinois on January 05, 2020:

Hello Mike, so good to see you. Now would be a perfect time to take Trump on a carriage ride. LOL I know this was a dark walk, but I was in a dark mood. I just tolerate Christmas time because so many are hurting this time of the year and the world seems to not care. Thanks for coming to read this piece. Hugs...

mckbirdbks from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas on January 05, 2020:

Hello Ruby - You took us on a dark walk. The gloom of a withered civilization is portrayed in this piece of writing.

Oh, and

Happy New Year.

Ruby Jean Richert (author) from Southern Illinois on January 02, 2020:

Hello Nell, seeing homeless people on the street at Christmas time always saddens me. You are correct, her phone call was nothing compared to life in the backstreets of large cities. Good to see you and thanks.

Nell Rose from England on January 02, 2020:

Powerful stuff Ruby, and something that happens all around the world. A phone call from him was nothing compared to what happened around her. Loved it!

Ruby Jean Richert (author) from Southern Illinois on December 30, 2019:

Hello William. I am so glad you thought this piece was powerful. I wanted it to stir people enough to think of the unfortunate and possibly help in some way. Christmas is a lonely time for people living on the street. Thank you for coming to read and leaving a welcome comment.

Ruby Jean Richert (author) from Southern Illinois on December 30, 2019:

Hello Shauna, Your complimentary remarks give me much joy. Thank you so much!

William Kovacic from Pleasant Gap, PA on December 30, 2019:

Wow, ruby! that was a powerful piece. It should make us all think. I'm glad you posted it.

Shauna L Bowling from Central Florida on December 30, 2019:

Ruby, you excel in poetic storytelling. This story is sad, and unfortunately, very relevant, but so well told. I really do think this is your niche. I'd love to see more!

Ruby Jean Richert (author) from Southern Illinois on December 29, 2019:

Hello Genna. I think my muse worked overtime on this one. It really is the season and seeing homeless people begging at Walmart in my small town and wondering where they lived? I think if we all could all see a cobblestone street like the one I wrote about, we would help them more. I saw people look the other way, even some muttered " Get a job " Genna your comments make me feel blessed. Thank you.

Ruby Jean Richert (author) from Southern Illinois on December 29, 2019:

Hello Brenda. No she doesn't want to be there, or end up like the street people. I thought it would be good for her to see what could happen when one takes the wrong path. I am so glad you liked this piece. Your comment brought a smile. Thank you.

Ruby Jean Richert (author) from Southern Illinois on December 29, 2019:

Hello Audrey. I fully agree. I guess there are more street people in the warmer areas like Los Angeles. We do share a loss that still hurts everyday. I am happy that he no longer is in pain and he's with God. Thank you so much. I think of you often and your courage inspires me to not lose hope.

Ruby Jean Richert (author) from Southern Illinois on December 29, 2019:

Hello Donna. So nice to see you. I really only used this unhappy girl to take us through the horrible place where the homeless are forced to live, and see up close what happens to them. I wanted her to see that a missed phone call is really not that bad compared to life on the street. Thank you so much.

Ruby Jean Richert (author) from Southern Illinois on December 29, 2019:

Hello Paula. I know this is an emotional piece, it's that time of year. Thanks for all of your sweet wishes. I wish the same for you. Thank you girlfriend...

Ruby Jean Richert (author) from Southern Illinois on December 29, 2019:

Hollo Peggy. What a shame, homeless people living in the underpass on that busy highway 10. I know that people say that they want to live that way. I do not believe it. The mentally ill and people forced to live like that deserves better. It is up to the city officials to take action. That's why it's so important to elect caring people. Thanks so much for coming to read this piece.

Ruby Jean Richert (author) from Southern Illinois on December 29, 2019:

Hello Mar. It's the season that brings out this kind of writing. To see homeless people when everyone is spending and decorating has always made me sad. I love that you like my writing. Thank you. Hugs, and happiness my friend.

Ruby Jean Richert (author) from Southern Illinois on December 29, 2019:

Hello Devika. I hate to hear that people are homeless in your part of the world. What a shame that is. Thanks for your most welcome comment.

Genna East from Massachusetts, USA on December 29, 2019:

There are too many of these cobblestone streets in our lives, Ruby. Your vivid words that take us to that heartbreaking place where "she began to walk where she didn't care..." The imaginary in this poem is just amazing.

Happy New Year, my talented friend.

BRENDA ARLEDGE from Washington Court House on December 29, 2019:


You have captured the essence of how one feels when she is let down by someone she truly cares about.

She does venture out to the world and see what is there..crying out loud..why did he do this!

She does not want to be there.

Great write!

Audrey Hunt from Idyllwild Ca. on December 28, 2019:

The homeless situation is heart-breaking and the Los Angeles area is one of the worst. Your amazing poem reveals the cruelty that exists under these conditions. No one should have to sleep on the streets.

I wish you a Happy New Year, dear Ruby, and think of you often and the grief we both share.

Donna Rayne from Sparks, Nevada on December 28, 2019:

Ruby, I longed for each word, wondering if he would call her as the world around her tore apart and ugliness surrounded her, her heart ached to hear his voice and oh how I wished he called...

Beautiful poem, captivating, inviting me into her world!

Suzie from Carson City on December 28, 2019:

Ruby girl...Your work is so amazing. You stirred so many emotions, I lost count.....I'm here to wish you a very WONDERFUL New Year. Stay safe, be happy and enjoy good health! Love ya, Paula

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on December 28, 2019:

You brought to life the cruelty and despair that coexists particularly in this festive season of the year. This is a very sad and sobering piece of writing. We drove to Beaumont today to visit my husband's 95-year-old uncle. We saw signs of homeless people sleeping under overpasses on Interstate 10. That is no place to live!

Maria Jordan from Jeffersonville PA on December 28, 2019:

Your beautiful heart shines through this realistic and sobering poem, dear Ruby. Thanks for raising our awareness, as only you can.

Love you and have a peaceful evening, mar

Ruby Jean Richert (author) from Southern Illinois on December 28, 2019:

Hello Manatita. Do not worry, I feel fine. I just needed to write something about the homeless in my area. I used the unhappy girl to take us where evil lives. Take care my poet friend.

Ruby Jean Richert (author) from Southern Illinois on December 28, 2019:

Hello Eric. Your comment overwhelms me. Thank you. You see the shame when some do not, When I gave money to a man standing on the corner, my friends laughed at me and said that the first place that he would spend the money was for liquor. It made me cry, and I said maybe that's what he needed the most.

Peace my friend

Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on December 28, 2019:

Wow! Ruby this is a one of your best hubs. I live 40 km away from Dubrovnik and no one lives on the streets there. Further north there at least 500 people homeless and live in shelters. This is sad to see when homeless do not have a shelter and to be out in the cold. You done well by writing about it.

Ruby Jean Richert (author) from Southern Illinois on December 28, 2019:

Hello John. Tis the season to be jolly, but some are not fortunate enough to have homes and Christmas lights. I live 50 miles from a large city, and that's all you see on the nightly news. It makes me sad to think about the terror they go through while living on the streets, enough that I had to write about it. Thank you for coming to read this piece.

Ruby Jean Richert (author) from Southern Illinois on December 28, 2019:

Thank you Clive, blessings backatcha.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on December 28, 2019:

Powerful social statement, Ruby! Very well done, a sobering reminder that we all matter. Blessings to you always!

Ruby Jean Richert (author) from Southern Illinois on December 28, 2019:

Hello Pamela. I wanted people to think of the poor who live on the streets. I used a sad girl to take us through the dark places where the forgotten live, and there are some young hoodlums who get a kick out of being cruel to the less fortunate. Thank you for coming to read this sad piece.

manatita44 from london on December 28, 2019:

A den of hopelessness indeed!! So well done, Ruby. Hope that you do not - in the slightest bit - feel this way. But yes, my Sweet. Yes, some do … some do. A real life-like piece from you and a gritty expression or account of despair. A bad place to be. Much Love.

Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on December 28, 2019:

Ruby I like it. We have so many "selfies" from Cancun. Really? Why do not they not post photos of the crap that hits. Or why do they post politics. You bring home lady.

Well I do not know, but maybe being true is why I love you.

John Hansen from Queensland Australia on December 27, 2019:

What a tale of hopelessness and despair, Ruby. This time of year can be the worst of all for some, but their anguish is hidden behind the facade of “the Season to be jolly” and spreading goodwill to all. Nicely written.

Clive Williams from Jamaica on December 27, 2019:

blessings jean

Ruby Jean Richert (author) from Southern Illinois on December 27, 2019:

Hello Clive. I know this is a dark piece, I wanted it to stir the feelings. I saw so many people begging for money, food and work during this time of Christmas glee. The world is full of lonely people who live on the street. I saw the picture of the girl waiting for a call and my muse came alive and took over. Thanks for always reading my work. Happy New Year,

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on December 27, 2019:

I am not sure why he didn't call, and maybe that can be left to our imaginations. It may not be what she needed at this time.

What a sad story! This definitely creates a visual image of horror in our minds.

Clive Williams from Jamaica on December 27, 2019:

Very Dramatic. He didn't call because she was not what he needed, just what he wanted at the time.

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