He Sleeps on Trains

He says he chased her away
so now he falls asleep on trains.

He says he chased her out
when he started drowning her voice
with whisky he can no longer afford.
So he drinks cheep cider
and falls asleep on trains.

He says he chased her out
with his money making schemes,
and his time inside was
too long for her to wait.
So he clouds his memory with heavy liquid
and falls asleep on trains.

He says he chased her out
with all the responsibilities
he pushed to her side of the bed,
and when he was released
she didn't try to hide her impatient infidelity.
He ignored it with liquor, yet no bottles were smashed
until the last time she slammed that door.
Now he wants to stay nauseous
and he falls asleep on trains.

He says he chased her out and she left.
That empty crib
and shelves full of gifts and photos
were too much not to burn.
He hates the drink
but he loves the way it's killing him,
even so, part of him still
does not want to die.
And it's winter again
for the sixteenth time
yet her features never fade.
It's winter again and he's got to stay warm,
so he buys a bottle and, mumbling her name,
he falls asleep on trains.


Written 2012, when I had been working with the homeless for 2 years.




When Jesus saw the homeless and distressed he didn't see a social problem or an inconvenience, he saw the person in pain and he has the power to get the the root of the problems people are facing. Throughout the gospels we see Jesus healing more than people's immediate needs: He healed a woman's internal bleeding and he also gave her confidence freeing her from the judgement of the crowd by encouraging her faith (Mark 5:25-34, Luke 8:43-48). He freed a disturbed man from demonic torment and gave the restored man back to his family with a new identity to share with many people (Mark 5:1-20). He freed two blind men on one occasion, giving them sight and gave them purpose meaning in life by letting them follow him (Matthew 20:29-34). He healed a paralysed man, letting him walk again and forgave his sins, assuring him of God's mercy and forgiveness (Matthew 9:1-8). Not just the gospels, but the whole bible is full of stories of God's compassion on the poor and homeless, on those who are forgotten or outcast by society. As Christians who are the body of Christ we are supposed to show that love and compassion here and now. 


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