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Epiphany At Union Station

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Below is the poem entitled Epiphany At Union Station which was written by poet Keith Bickerstaffe. Please feel free to comment on this poem. However, please remember, PoetrySoup is a place of encouragement and growth.

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Epiphany At Union Station


The Station was littered and in disrepair, 
'Out Of Order' signs bore witness. 
Discarded chewing gum and empty bottles, 
and the smells emanating from unemptied 
trash baskets... and in the midst 
of all this dislocation there he was,

huddled in his wheelchair, 
his tray of trinkets proudly perched 
on a cardboard box, a makeshift table. 
Always cheerful, greeting commuters 
as they hurried past, but they never returned 
the smile forever gracing his weathered face. 

One day I stopped to say hello. 
His eyes brightened as he said 
"Good day to you, good sir!" 
Can I interest you in any of my treasures?" 
I noticed he was shoeless, sockless, 
and made a mental note. 

"Right now I have to catch a train, 
but I'll return when I have more time, 
you have my word." 
"I'll be here, this is my world, you'll 
always be most welcome!" he explained, 
as I disappeared into the teeming crowd. 

Foregoing my schedule I returned the next day, 
anxious to peruse his wares, and continue 
our conversation. It turned out he was a Vet 
who'd fallen on hard times. I sat and listened 
while he told me his story. A man displaced 
by a society who would forever be in his debt. 

"I'll be right back," I said. I had a plan. 
Returning from the store, armed with sneakers, 
socks and a sponge, I cleaned his feet, 
pulled on his socks and laced up his 
brand new Nikes. He was overwhelmed, 
and by way of payment gave me a pendant 
bearing the inscription, 'Semper Fi.' 

"This will bring you good fortune, my friend, 
wear it, and your heart will be free of strife, 
and your days will be filled with sunshine! 
Remember me and treasure it, that is all I ask." 

Next day, as I was crossing the concourse, 
I saw he was no longer at his station, 
my friend, his wheelchair, and his tray of trinkets 
all were gone. I hoped that where he went 
he was cared for and comforted, and if he had shuffled 
off this mortal coil that he was in the arms of God. 

Was he seen by anyone but me? 

I believed with all my heart he was an Angel... 

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  1. Date: 5/20/2013 11:27:00 PM
    What a wonderful poem. I was riveted to the end. Your kindness was in the time you took and in giving dignity to a broken and forgotten man. SuZ

  1. Date: 4/30/2013 9:28:00 PM
    Keth...I believe it...I have experienced a visit from one before..he saved me from death or worse..I will soup mail you sometime about it..this story is awesome...