Wednesday, October 22, 2014

A stranger even to herself

                                    Bag Lady by William Cook Hagwood



She’s one of the first to leave                     
Staring up at the bright sky             
As though there might be some sign         
Perhaps guidance from above                   
Or if the weather would hold                        

She had such a fertile mind                        
She had survived against all odds             
Always searching in the streets                  
Begging when they weren’t looking           
And defensive when they were                   

She had a family once                                 
They would not recognize her now             
Other drifters hated her                               
She hated them back “So there!”               
Those needy little bastards                         

She had known another life             
With husband and children too                   
All gone, gone, gone, good riddance
She was better on her own 
A stranger even to herself 

Image found at www.tarotcanada.org

20 comments:

  1. This is scary. It can happen to anyone. A change of fortune will not discriminate. Great lines oldegg!

    Hank

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  2. A very sad story and there are many who are alone like her.

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  3. It sounds like she left a bad situation. You know things are tough when this is the best of your options.

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  4. Ive been on that side as a young woman and then as a much older version of myself. I learned that talk is cheap and the many (organizations) who say they help do very little for people down and out. I wrote letter after letter asking for help when I had major medical needs. I shared that I had spent my life founding several organizations to help people in need and provided healthcare (as a nurse) for free - no response except the endless calls from creditors... Our world is a harsh place

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  5. You conveyed well the stark look at what it comes down to for some homeless people. Here, I like how you addressed her mode of survival. In the second stanza we get a sense of the power of it within her and in the third and fourth we see what she’s had to resort to mentally to effect it.

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  6. if this is not what is hell then?..a poignant write...

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  7. What a vivid picture. It's a life I'm happy to stay away from.

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  8. How very sad to have had a family once and then end up on the street.

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  9. This is very sad, such a harsh existence. I once feared winding up a bag lady - but so far, so good! The difference between having a family who wont let that happen, and not.....

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  10. I don't mean to preach what seems to be negative to others, but there is so much you can do and achieve when you are single. :D thanks for the nice poem Old Egg.

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  11. a reality, i'm hoping she recovers and finds herself in a better phase

    much love...

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  12. A hard reality to live every day. Good to call attention to it.

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  13. very sad. i just we should take care of ourselves from time to time. try to talk if needed...

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  14. If you could convince yourself entirely that you were a stranger to yourself i would agree that can keep you surviving..but you always remember and there's always more to lose.. and on that cheery note :)

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  15. What a life you describe. You capture her bitternes and express questions we all have about the homeless. What is their story? Where is the family?
    Very good write.

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  16. Old Egg, would you please email me at wildwoman2@shaw.ca ? Have something to ask you.

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  17. Oh! My comment is not here! I'm glad I came back to reread this marvelous poem about such sad/crazy-making circumstances. Someties the price of independence is too high, right up there with hope. I love in the first verse how she looks up to the sky--checking God or weather--wow! My heart clunked right there. Where is God but in us who don't respond? Such pride and ferocity (So there!) It is never better to be a stranger to oneself, unless one is already gone. Thank you for giving us this day.

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