There are few things that upset me as deeply as seeing injustice, especially when it comes to the rich vs. poor dichotomy. So I was particularly troubled when during a trip home, I saw a homeless man treated with contempt and disregard as he tried to get some food from a local supermarket. I was seated in the back seat of my mother’s car, as she was catching up with a close friend seated in front passenger seat. As I looked out of the windshield, I witnessed the scene that inspired this poem:
The Humbled Man
Today I saw a humbled man.
He walked into a store,
yet they would not receive him in
because of what he wore.
He simply sought a loaf of bread
to fill the desperate din
of hunger, and to give him warmth
for he was shivering.
They took his arm with rigid force
and ushered him outside;
assured him they would bring him all
his pennies could provide.
I watched this man led to the cold.
I witnessed him comply.
He looked as though life struck him down
yet would not let him die.
Perhaps tonight when he is fed
and gladly welcomes sleep,
beneath the stars he’ll lay his head
on ground where angels weep.
© Shiku Wangombe