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Tilly the Bag Lady's Story

There are still bag ladies because I saw one the other day. She was pushing her overloaded bike down the highway with everything she owned 

Tilly's Life

Her old wrinkled hands so arthritic, dirty and worn,

Hurt as she cleaned out her cardboard box she called

home, and taped the places where it was torn.

One treasure she had left after all these years, was a

wooden box filled with important papers and her pictures

of her past,

Each night she took them out and placed them around a

shoebox lid, she called her table, until she came to the last.

That picture she put at the head of the table, and called him

in her shaky voice---my darling,

She remembered him when everything was wonderful and he

was so---- charming.

She remembered, her children who loved her once eons ago,

--- and still now to her heart it was such--- a blow,

And she remembered when his heart had turned cold as snow.

Tilly The Homeless Bag Lady

Tilly The Homeless Bag Lady

Tilly's Old Wooden Box

Tilly's Old Wooden Box

She remembered, her children who loved her once eons ago,

--- and still now to her heart it was such--- a blow,

And she remembered when his heart had turned cold as snow.

It was when he found someone new,

And he got rid of her like an old shoe.

His lies in court called her unfit,

And the judge agreed with it.

The twins were taken from her arms, that day in the court room,

He smiled his evil smile as they did the hateful deed; he sweep Tilly

away with his legal broom.

He took her money she inherited; he divorced her, and took her children

----on the same day,

She sat frozen in her seat, and watched through her tears,

----as they walked away.

A woman on the back row stood up, and walked out by his side,

She would be his new bride.

Her attorney apologized, then disappears,

Because all her legal bills were in arrears.

There is nothing free in this world her daddy always said,

She walked out of the Courthouse; alone with a bowed head.

She worked many low paying jobs in her life,

Her main skills were unneeded, ------ that being

------just a mother and a wife.

She now lived with the others of her kind,

Old, hungry, and dirty, but they didn’t mind.

In the wintertime in New York, their cardboard boxes were

placed in an abandoned warehouse on the cold ground,

Then in the summer, their homes were placed in the alley side

by side, in a little community they called themselves “The Brown.”

Her Children Place Poinsettias on Her Grave

Her Children Place Poinsettias on Her Grave

Her Children Place Poinsettias on Her Grave

A Broken Wing

All her bag friends called her Tilly, and every day when she awoke,

Her hand went straight to her heart locket,

Because her locket contained the last photograph of her twins, a boy and a girl,

as well as the man who harmed her. She put him in her pocket.

So, many years passed, and the do-gooders came by with their handouts.

Never a hand up was offered---as if they could not wait.

and didn't look back as they walked away.

Yet, many needed medical care, and there was very little food to share.

The economy was bad---but they drank their hot potato.

water without grieving.

t was Christmas Eve, and they were all standing around their fire barrels to keep warm. Except for Tilly,

Some sang carols, some laughed, and some shared their garbage.

and ate treats like stall cakes and moldy cookies and acted drunkenly.

It was in the early morning, on Christmas Day, when Tilly was found by

a reporter searching for a story

All her friends gathered around to say their good-byes. Some prayed,

Some cried; they all knew she was in glory.

For not a sweeter, kinder, caring “Bag Lady” ever walked this earth

than Tilly, their most precious friend,

They wanted to give her beautiful flowers, but they had no money to

spend, and her funeral they could not attend.

The reporter told them not to worry, for Tilly was his story to


And he would come back and read it to them, but they would

have to wait.

A month had passed and there he was standing before

Tilly’s friend—the “Bag People,”

I want you to know that Tilly had lots of flowers and she is

buried in a beautiful place called the Steeple.

She is resting by her father---who was a very wealthy

businessman from Switzerland, who was very acclaimed,

Tilly was wealthy and very much loved---- until she married

that man with no shame.

Her full name is Tanja Marie Blickensderfer, born in

Switzerland, She came to America when she was six months old,

She was married to a man who is running for Congress as I speak,

but I assure you when my story is published it will stop him cold.

Her children will then know their mother, and why and what

happened in her life and that their selfish father sent her away,

I have all the answers in her little wooden box, to expose that

appalling man, and now Tilly will have her day.


In the Steeple Cemetery on a Christmas morn, stood a man

and woman with poinsettias draped over their arms to place

them on the Tombstone that said, "Mama, we felt your love through

all these years—we were never apart for our hearts were joined in

a Swiss Love Knot”---and then written below----- it said----

Your Children--- inside a heart of red.

A big Oak tree behind her tombstone someone carved inside a big heart the name: Tilly.

Like so many homeless people, Tilly did not have access to a shelter to sleep at once in a while. She was on her own, living in a cardboard box. That was her homeless shelter. She did not have anyone fix housing solutions for her; no one seemed to care enough to offer, and she would never ask. She became homeless because of a cruel husband. I have seen a lot of homeless people when Congress let American companies go overseas and people lost their jobs--resulting in home foreclosures and families living on the streets if relatives did not take them. Families' cars were repoed. Fathers could not take their families to the doctor or dentist.

Women gave birth in cardboard boxes in many cities. Yes, Congress and our president are trying to destroy us again with high inflation, high gas prices, and food prices so high families cannot afford anything but bread to make sandwiches.

We may all be homeless before this government is finished destroying our country. I lived through all this, and at the time I was employed—thank God.

© 2011 Barbara Purvis Hunter