The Homeless Hero

©2016 by Jon Gutmacher
As Christmas comes
his eyes tight close
to stop the tears
his sadness knows
now lies awake
without a meal
his clothes so old and worn

He had a life
so long ago
and then came war
to it . . . did go
and changed him there
on foreign shores
what he was not

Then came back home
without one limb
a shadow of the man
he had been
and gradually withdrew from normal life
to find solace amongst the trees

No Santa Claus
No candy canes
now begs for food
none know his name
but on his chest
that medal worn
tells all
he is a man

I’d give a dollar
just one buck
when driving by
I’d wish him luck
and sometimes he’d look back at me
with sadness in his eyes

But life goes on
the Holidays pass
I have not seen him
long weeks from last
his empty corner
near grocery store
where now
only wind does blow

And wonder how
a man so bold
who loved his country
and then grew old
surrounded by the war he fought
and ghosts
that would never leave

I was reading by my fireplace
and suddenly I saw his face
in a book about a foreign war
and a battle that he’d fought

He was a hero
a man, too brave
and many lives
he surely saved
and that was all
the book did say
of that battle fought
long ago

I’ve looked for him, yes
since that day
and there are sometimes that I pray
that he will find
the peace he needs
and the gratitude that
he deserves

Now, snow falls down
around this place
and cold surrounds that
long, worn face
of a man who served his country
now abandoned and alone

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