outside shelter
Wherever I will sleep tonight,
I’ll get another bedbug bite.
No comfort shall I know,
in cots, row after row.

No peaceful dreams for me.
No cocoa, no hot tea.
Just a smelly, creaking cot
and the scent of fungus rot.

“Who’d want this life?” I wonder.
And everyday, I sit and ponder.
How much longer can I last?
Will this ever be my past?

All they say is, “move along!”
When I rest, I’m in the wrong.
I know for me, there is somewhere.
But right now, I live nowhere.

My bed is on my back.
Or in another homeless ‘shack’.
I guess I can’t complain.
I’m not in the pouring rain.

I bow my head in shame,
since they think I am to blame.
Some of us do drugs and drink.
We can’t help it if we stink.

Sometimes, the shelter’s full.
Don’t they know I’ve got no pull?
I’m just a number and that’s all.
They’ve yet to take my fall.

They’ll never understand,
nor guess, it’s all been planned.
When we meet up here someday,
their fears I can’t allay.

There’s troubling times ahead.
More like me without a bed.
They can’t see. It’s not yet clear,
just how much there is to fear.

Written by,

Shelby I. Courtland
©2013 Shelby I. Courtland

11 thoughts on “Fear

  1. after reading your poem this morning i felt an immediate need to write this in answer.

    Since when
    am I to fear
    after all
    I’m in the clear.

    I’ve got
    money in the bank
    and it’s me
    I have to thank.

    I’ve worked real hard
    to save my cash
    my portfolio
    is quite a stash.

    Yep I’ve got my own
    they can’t hurt me
    they need to get their own jobs
    I’ll ignore their plea.

    But wait, what’s that
    the bottom’s dropped out
    the market has crash
    and I’m now without.

    What shall I do
    how now will I live
    where will I find help
    is there anyone who’ll give.


    • Thank you Brian! So true! People who have as the saying goes, “had it all,” lost it all and found themselves in dire straits. I can NOT stress it enough that no one is immune. There is still a foreclosure crisis going on. There are millions of empty houses where once, families filled them and made them ‘homes’.

      I am about to head back to the midwest and host a program on community television to bring the plight of the homeless to the forefront because it needs more exposure and I intend with the help of those who are unfortunately homeless to put a face on homelessness and keep it out there. I intend to put the spotlight on HUD’s(Housing and Urban Development)lack of initiative in putting a dent in the outrageous numbers of homeless people in America. I cannot make a difference by simply writing about it and so I take it to the next level.

      I will of course, keep you posted.

      And thank you again for posting your wonderful, truthful and thoughtful poem here!


  2. I want to say that I am quite humbled that so many people like this poem. But be that as it may, I wish there was no reason for me to have written it. Eradication of homelessness is what I shall continue to strive for.

    Thank you all!


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