Cold! The swirling snow
had me bound closer to my pavement bed
where now I seek some rest
under the snowflake laced blanket
my only friend.

Booted steps march around me
offering no relief
not even a glance
telling me that to them, I exist.

I am the invisible man
unheard, unseen since the last door
shut me out
of all warmth.

I am but a lump
to avoid on the street
betrayed by the only comfort I had
known to no one
but the cold
snaking through my limbs
embracing me
in an ever tightening hold.

I succumb –
ice has more fire
than most hearts I’ve known.


This poem was inspired by this picture of a homeless man in the streets of NYC.  I hope that his story has a happy ending.

I am linking with DVERSE’s Poets ~ Open Link Night.



  1. a lump to avoid in the street….yes they have been moved to the shadows and sidelines…suspected of fould deed….i have great compassion for the homeless and spent a bit of time with them everywhere i have lived…figuing i have not been far away my self at times…

    • I think you are privileged to be able to help.
      Sometimes, I think that only God’s grace keep us away from unfortunate events.
      I have seen a lot of homeless people in the Philippines, but homeless people here, in the middle of winter, troubled me a little more than I used to since the freezing weather is not as forgiving as the . Philippines’ climate. Oh, please do not get me wrong – regardless of where one is, poverty, homelessness is a serious issue.

  2. This is such a moving poem, Imelda. What a tragedy that any human being should be homeless and shunned by society in general. Tears in my eyes as I read this. We must do more to help, but what?

    • Thanks, Adin. Your question made me ask too – how can we help. True, we can support groups that take care of the poor and homeless. That is ‘easy’ enough. Perhaps, we can also raise awareness about the issue. Yet, it is when we confront the person face-to-face that makes the question more difficult.

  3. You are hitting people to the core. Thank you for that. I once again let a hitchhiker into my car. This time during the safety of the day. I drove her for a good hour. She turned out to be a very nice young lady wanting go to San Francisco. I found her in Santa Barbara. She still had a long way to go by walking.

  4. This is a deep to the core poem…WoW. You struck a core with so many phrases:

    “Cold! The swirling snow….
    ….my pavement bed
    ….snowflake laced blanket
    Booted steps march around me….
    i…nvisible man
    ….a lump
    to avoid ….
    snaking through my limbs
    ice has more fire
    than most hearts I’ve known.
    Thank you….Peace and love…

  5. Tragically beautiful Imelda. Part of my work is with homeless; I was just thinking today it would be good to write a story from their perspective. That homelesness exists in our world is so wrong.

    • What a privilege you have to be able to help them. You know, I never expected that homeless people would actually be OUT in the streets at this time of the year. It makes their conditions more heartbreaking than it already is. What chance to they have against the weather?

  6. Thank you for sharing a post that opens the eyes and hearts of others to the plight of the homeless and the less fortunate in this world. How many times people try to ignore people who sleeps on the streets or those that digs food in the garbage can pretending they don’t see it. “I am but a lump
    to avoid on the street.” When I went to the Philippines last year, my heart bled from seeing how poor are and how little kids sleeps on a cold, dirty pavement with only newpaper and carboards as matress while elsewhere in the world people live in luxury.

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