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WHERE DO THEY GO

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Below is the poem entitled WHERE DO THEY GO which was written by poet Sidney Beck. Please feel free to comment on this poem. However, please remember, PoetrySoup is a place of encouragement and growth.

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WHERE DO THEY GO

WHERE DO THEY GO?

Warm summer day  Sunday morning family outing
To church to  give thanks for  God's goodness
That old lady again sitting at the church entrance 
All day she collects pennies from parishioners
And maybe a sandwich from a picnic left over
Tossed in a trash can with flies buzzing around
I toss her my sixty five cents small change from my back pocket.

I guess she’s there all day, but at day’s end where does she go?
Maybe a  shared old mattress  in a wrecked basement up for demolition
Or  a shelter for the night run by the Salvation Army  
Could be just in the grassy verge of a roadside  parking area?
After all it is summer and the nights are not cold really.
Anyhow, it gets dark and she just disappears
Thank God -  out of sight out of mind

In the darkness she can’t be seen any more
Makes no impact on my suburban mentality
Doesn’t disturb my late night tv  with Letterman
And my nightcap of Johnny Walker before the hot milk and bed.
We chat before sleep my wife and I about the day
And forget the old lady at the church entrance.

She has  no Letterman  or Walker
No chat with a close one before sleep
A  sleep perhaps disturbed by drug addicts stumbling over her in the dark
Or rousted by the cops for trespass, or frightened by stray dogs in a  pack.
I can sleep easy, I did my bit with the sixty five cents in my back pocket.
Good  night.

When I was small my mum used to ask  where do the flies go in wintertime?
Just to puzzle and amuse me
Of course she didn’t explain that they don’t actually go anywhere
But the  cold simply finishes off all those dirty nuisances 
And makes the air clean and  pleasant 
After the summer  plagued  by  those unwanted  useless  creatures.

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  1. Date: 7/18/2013 9:12:00 AM

    This is a question I often wrestle with too, one that haunts me if I let it. Instead, like you it is much easier to put it out of my mind....try to let it go....."I can't take on the problems of the whole world" ....that sort of mentality numbs us to the suffering....for a little while. But in the long scheme of things....we can do our part, in smaller ways. What a thoughtful poem this is...I hope more people read it and "do something!!" however small. Small things can add up to big things.