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THE MAN ON THE SIDEWALK

The opium eater reclines with rigid head and just-open’d lips…

You all know how hard it is to find a good parking place
in a busy town. Well, we lucked out—or so it seemed—
while running an errand yesterday. I prepared to back in

when she said, no not here. I too had noticed the man,
lying on his side against the wall, so I pulled forward and said
why don’t you hop out here? Then I backed into

the space and got out. I pulled a buck from my wallet
and walked up the man, who looked up at me with
vacant eyes. He took the money with a sluggish hand,

and I caught up with my wife. He had his hand in his
pants, she said, explaining why she was annoyed at me.
Was it the hand that took the bill, I wondered.

We took longer than I thought, and I was glad I’d put
an extra quarter in the meter. The man was still there
when we returned, the dollar bill clutched in his fist.

... And such as it is to be one of these, more or less am I…
(Words in italics from “Song of Myself,” by Walt Whitman)

Style / type: 
Free verse
Review Request (Intensity): 
I want the raw truth, feel free to knock me on my back
Review Request (Direction): 
What did you think of my title?
How was my language use?
What did you think of the rhythm or pattern or pacing?
How does this theme appeal to you?
How was the beginning/ending of the poem?
Is the internal logic consistent?
Editing stage: 
Content level: 
Not Explicit Content

Comments

This is a tough topic. It’s hard to give money to someone who is clearly using. It’s hard to humanize that person beyond their addiction or mental illness or both. I’ve felt very uncomfortable at times. I’ve also felt very sad and compassionate. It’s really tough.

I feel sorrow and a bit of disgust for this man of no means, and hand in his pants. is this his only means of entertainment and pleasure? I ask myself, what has beaten him down and laid him so low? your poem depicts this man's plight very well.

*hugs, Cat

*

When someone reads your work
And responds, please be courteous
And reply in kind, thanks.

lost a step-son to an overdose of heroin, I am extremely aware of the problems facing addicts and their struggles. Yes, it is a moral dilemma, do you chose to help them get their next fix, or restrain your impulse to give them enough money [in hopes]
that they get something to eat? Please read my "This Person Will Self-destruct In...].
I like the train-of-thought piece you have created. I felt it come through and your emotions regarding it. ~ Geezer.
.

It seems that the days and hours that people
are available for chatroom are staggered and
not a good match for most everyone. How about
if everyone just shows up at the door, whenever
they have a few free minutes?

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