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You walk by me, a look of disgust
on your perfectly made up face
You’ve already labeled me, without
even knowing me, because
I live in a cardboard box on the sidewalk.

I am no different than you, except
I fought for my country, so that
you could live in freedom, I watched
as my brothers and sisters died, so
many didn’t make it back home, and
those who did, were scorned by you,
the perfect person who never saw a single day
of bloodshed, agony, horror

I live in this box because my country has
pushed me aside, and won’t give me a chance
to be me again, and so,
all you see is a dirty, unkempt man
who begs for coins so he can eat,
who takes up space on your
beloved ground, my ground, our ground

I did not ask to be thrown into combat,
I offered myself because I love this country
I fought for her honor, not mine
And because I am a soldier, you blame
me for the war, and turn your back on me,
this country I love, that continuously cuts spending
to the veterans, so that I cannot live the life
I so often miss

You see, I am human, same as you, except
I don’t have nice clothes or a fancy car,
A warm house or food on my table.
I live here, in my box, my home
in the hopes that one day, when I see you
walking down the sidewalk, you’ll
stop by my home and perhaps give me a smile
or shake my hand, maybe even
chat for a bit to learn why I am still here

All I need to know is that you see me, and understand
That I am a proud American….

That I am no different than you.

©2014 Dorinda Duclos All Rights Reserved