The Homeless
by Ed Bowers

Originally published in Street Sheet, December 2002, San Francisco Poetry Issue (posted 2002)

the homeless serve function
in capitalist society
which is reason
they will always live and die
on streets.
just as stop signs on roads
and warnings in nuclear power plants
are needed,
so are the homeless.
they alert those who work
not to stop.
they inform the members of the crew
that no one loves them unless
they do something to earn it.
they show office workers
by the very expression on their faces
that need
has its dark side.
and to those miserable laborers,
adrift in debt and downsizing and divorce,
trapped eight to sixteen hours in
meaningless work,
the homeless offer them the pleasure
of knowing that
someone is more miserable
than them.

they are the worst possible threat
in a worst case scenario.

the homeless should
get paid
for what
they do.




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