Why must I fade away
Why must I rest today
Why must there be a price to pay
Why must I kneel to pray

I find my justice on the street
From your wallets come my meat
Abandoned buildings where I sleep
Paper boxes give me heat

Do you see me with your eyes
Even though you pass me by
Humiliation tries to hide
Embarrass figures of our lives

When you see me you will speak
When I ask for change to eat
A lonely figure in cold
Outcast member from the fold
Hold my shame out with my hand
Fractured woman broken man


  1. Isabella says

    This is really beautiful. thank you for sharing.

  2. TG,
    Wow this poem is extremely powerful. Your diction is used so amazingly and you writing brings out emotion in me. Thank you for sharing this beautiful piece with the rest of the world.-Pat

  3. Thank you for the strength, power, and honesty of these images. I love how the poem builds to the climax of the final lines. Your last image especially, “fractured woman broken man,” is outstanding.

  4. Jordyn Salmon says


    The pain and loneliness in your poem is definitely felt. The emotions and perspectives of those who are homeless or in poverty are often not considered, and they are treated almost like a problem to be fixed rather than like real people. As you said in the poem, they are treated as “outcast members.” My hope is that you continue to write about issues that mean the most to you.

  5. TG,
    Thank you for sharing this fantastically written poem! It is interesting how such a dark struggle such as poverty can be so beautifully written about.
    I loved you poem and hope you write more. I hope you continue to write about such important topics of struggle in such ways and that they reach more and more people.
    Good job!!

  6. Arina Borodkina says

    This was really beautiful and moving. I am so sorry to hear about your hardships. With the current state of the virus I am especially worried for those people out on the street. I pray everyone will get through this safely. “Hold my shame out with my hand” was my favorite line. I think it really captures how difficult it is to have to ask people for their change. I know people aren’t asking for money for fun but really need it. I usually don’t know how to respond when I really don’t have any change to spare but I will be trying to at least talk a little to people who do ask because that contact probably means a lot. Thank you for this. Wishing you well.

  7. Thank you for sharing. This is a beautiful and heartbreaking poem. “Fractured woman broken man” is truly a picture of all of humanity. I am praying for healing and freedom in your soul, TG.

    – Elisabeth

  8. Naana McBrown says

    Thank you for sharing this with us. I find your poem to be very passionate, and I’m glad that you found the strength to express your personal obstacles that you’ve faced. You’ve honestly changed my outlook on people who may be in need of help on the streets, and by the way you write, you seem like someone who’s been through a lot, but i want you to remember that you have the potential to become great. This poem is amazing. You seem intelligent and I wish you nothing but the best from here on. Remember to remain motivated and keep your head held high with everything you do.


  9. TG–
    Your poem really made an impression on me. Please don’t fade away–I’d love to read more poetry by you. Your writing style and rhymes are captivating, but the experiences you share in your writing, about the disrespect people give you and the hardships you face, are what I’m going to think about for a long time. This poem is so impactful for me, so thank you very much for writing it and I really hope to read more.

  10. What a beautiful poem, I love how the last verse disrupts the 4-line structure that you created earlier- it is so powerful. The loneliness that you describe comes across so clearly, and the honesty with which the poem is written is breath-taking.

  11. Michalla Nixon says

    This is such a powerful piece, and it really paints a picture for readers. I love how raw and emotional this is. You truly delve into the struggle of living in poverty. My favorite part is where you said “Do you see me with your eyes even though you pass me by, humiliation tries to hide” is just amazing. Many are oblivious to the feelings of those living in poverty, they fail to see poor and homeless people as people, and you captured that so well. Wonderful writing, I really hope you continue as this is amazing work. Hope all is well, take care!

  12. Karen Jones says

    This is very well written. You can tell it is from the heart, it speaks right to your soul. Bless you. X

  13. TG,

    Great poem! Your words are meaningful and express exactly how you feel and think about your situation. The emotions behind your words are powerful and this poem is about you and your life. Keep on writing and expressing yourself through them.

  14. This was a very powerful poem and well written
    What a different perspective.

  15. Jane Stevens says

    Dear TJ,
    You’ve created powerful images with your words. I could see the struggles. Wow. Great work.
    All the best,

  16. Sandra Miller says

    Dear TJ, your poem is incredibly powerful and expressive. When you write, you are asserting yourself in a way that says you are not fading away. I hope you can get to a place where you recognize how strong and vital you are. You are not defined by your circumstances. I look forward to reading more poems from you.

  17. Coughlin / Johnson Family says

    Really like this poem, tugs at my heartstrings! Love the use of rhyming and repetition, enhances the whole message/meaning of the poem. Nice job!

  18. Elizabeth Diaz says

    I like that you chose to write about the stigma society has on the homeless population. The third paragraph is my favorite part of the poem because it stood out to me the most. With your words, you push the reader to feel what a homeless person feels. While reading it, I was able to paint a picture of someone asking for change and sleeping in a cardboard box. Unfortunately, this is a reality that many have to face due to a broken system. Thank you for sharing your story through your writing. I wish I could find out more about the questions you ask in the beginning, especially when you ask, “Why must there be a price to pay.” It left me wondering why you feel that way.

  19. This is a very powerful poem. It immediately makes me see and feel–see the lonely figure in the cold, feel the darkness and shame. I’ve known darkness and shame in my life and I think all humans have some sense of knowing that terrible feeling inside. But this poem hits that in a really special way. It’s hard to put into words, but reading this poem makes me feel more human, in both good and bad ways. That’s how you know it’s art and it’s truth.

  20. Nick Rice says

    First off I think leaving off a title actually helps this poem. I think it does a wonderful job at conveying the message that homelessness is something many people just look past. I think you do a great job of evoking emotion out of people who walk by people in need. The whole poem also has a rhythm to it that makes it flow nicely and ties the whole thing together.

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