New Poem 200,00 Ghosts


The numbers vary, but apparently in 2013 on any given night there were just under 200,000 people living on the streets in America. That’s not quite the population of my hometown. There are ways to address that, but the popular method seems to be, at least for now, to just make them invisible. I don’t know about you, but that’s not acceptable to me.

200,000 Ghosts

They haunt our alleys
our parks
our bus stations
floating through our spaces

“Our” spaces
not theirs
they don’t belong
they are invaders
frightening to behold
what do they mean

We close our eyes
don’t see
don’t see
don’t see
and they aren’t really there

We close our eyes
with calloused hearts
with sneers
with jeers
with the cop’s nightstick
with new laws
to punish the believers

Ignore them and they’ll go away
ignore them and they will fade
ignore their groaning
their hands reaching out
their otherness
ignore them
and we can pretend to not know why


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