To the Homeless Man in the Alien Shirt

Sat, 01/13/2018 - 22:50 -- Kkallas

I met you two years ago, but I never knew your name.  

I was a waitress at a food kitchen when I first met you.

I instantly saw your pain.

 

You looked no older than twenty, but you had wrinkles like an old man.

No smile lines, just crow's feet.

Life hadn't been easy, and it hadn't gone as planned. 

 

You wore tattered jeans and a grey shirt with an alien on the front. 

Beads of sweat adorned your face, as I approached to ask what you wanted for lunch.

 

You looked up at me like a scared child. You didn't exude confidence, your manner was mild.

 

You asked for some water; you said, "please" and "thanks".

I nodded, pleased by your manners, but repulsed by your stank. 

 

You were back the next day, more conversational this time.

You smiled when you saw me, not with your mouth, but with your eyes.

 

Your eyes were green, the greenest I've ever seen. But the warmth that had once been there was diminished, it seemed. 

 

As soon as I saw them they were gone in a flash. Your shaggy hair provided a shield, and the sadness was back.

 

The other people at the table were starting to talk.

The man sitting across from you asked you a question, but you just kept eating, head down, wouldn't stop.

 

He repeated his question, calling you rude.

You hunched your back and remained silent.

You didn't know what to do. 

 

I observed you that week.

The more I watched you, the more I related, and my curiosity peaked. 

 

I could tell you felt uncomfortable in the crowded room.

You wanted to speak your mind, but had trouble articulating how to.

 

You were mentally strong but physically weak; small frame, but thick skin, and validation you seek.

 

You hated the position you were in, but you couldn't change your situation.

You were just surviving and looking for salvation.

 

You had a sweet tooth, too.

You always wanted chocolate cake.

You also didn't like meat, opting for veggies instead of steak.

 

That food kitchen was always filled with anger, hunger, and frustration.

You brought light and innocence, and you didn't need to establish dominance or a have a big reputation.

 

You carried a black drawstring bag.

Inside was a small notebook, a pen, and a rag.

 

I wonder what you wrote, or maybe what you drew.

I should've asked, but I never really had the chance to.

 

If the homeless man in the alien shirt ever gets this letter, I want you to know, because of you, I realized I wasn't the only one that felt alien. You made my life better.

 

The last time I saw you, you had earbuds in your ears, wanting to shut out the world and just get away from here.

 

I could picture you in a spaceship, breaking the dark clouds that loomed.

To others, you may seem alien, but to me, you were the only human in the room. 

 

Yours truly,

A fellow Alienated Human

 

 

This poem is about: 
Me
My community
Poetry Terms Demonstrated: 

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