Rags and Tatters

Rags and Tatters
By Scott L Vannatter
October 3, 2012

Fire made from bits of wood
Gathered from nearby cans
The heat feels good
On those worn-out hands

Share a bottle with what passes for friends
The cold flows deep into the joints
Mostly old, but a young one there
Doesn’t escape the chilly points

A couple walks by, sees, and scurries
They fear the worst, as looks may matter
The dread they feel is not inside their selves
But flows hard from the rags and tatters

Cardboard sign, work for food
Some true, some scam, all within the range
So all treated the same, cars avoid the lane
“Mister, can you spare some change?”

Money’s the thing most looked for here
They think it will save their soul
Truth be told, some soup and kind words
Would lift their spirits to whole

Desperate they are, might they hurt us now?
We worry so proper and prim
Though more’s the point, that only days
May separate us from them

We sit inside and they in the cold
We think we are safe and sound
But a match, a fist, a digital theft
And with them we’d be found

So look at them, look full next time
They walk and can’t afford the bus
For things do change, and change might find
The rags and tatters on us

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  • buckwheatsrisk  On October 4, 2012 at 1:10 pm

    How true is this, i love it!


  • Marisa  On October 4, 2012 at 10:34 am

    We see a lot of rags and tatters in our city. They have often been the subjects of our conversations in exploring ways to help. Your poem, Scott, is a vivid reminder of the graveness of their situations… sad but true, sometimes it’s easier to look the other way and pretend it will all go away.


  • Soma Mukherjee  On October 4, 2012 at 7:23 am

    We sit inside and they in the cold
    We think we are safe and sound
    But a match, a fist, a digital theft
    And with them we’d be found……..
    Scott this is Brilliant….what a beauty you have woven..love love loved it


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