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Read Poems by Susan Berg

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Below are poems written by poet Susan Berg. Click the Next or Previous links below the poem to navigate between poems. Remember, Poetrysoup is an environment of encouragement and growth. Thank you.

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Begging Change from Society

The busted fire hydrant on the corner sprays water down like rain.
Water gushes down the dirty gutter, relieving this humid pain.

Sipping iced tea in their air-conditioned houses on the hill or in high-rise,
They don’t know how the streets burn little feet, or pretend not to realize. 

They call us poor white trash, no charity we are shown.
I can virtually live on nothing when nothing is all I’ve known.

College I finished on top of the class.  How far did it get me?
I have nowhere to hang my hat or wall to hang my degree.

The streets teach lessons of a hard knocks life.
You learn to survive despite hunger and strife. 

You learn how to rob Peter in order to pay Paul,
And that stale, day old bread’s better than no bread at all.

You quickly find out just how warm the newspaper can be,
As you hold a cardboard sign, begging change from society.

Laid off from your job with no severance pay,
It doesn’t take long ‘til you’ve got nowhere to stay.

No family to help you when the chips are down,
You find yourself walking the mean streets of town.

How will you turn your whole life around?
Get a job and regular pay when you’re sleeping on the ground?

You need more than a meal and night’s stay in a shelter,
You need society to give a damn and be a real helper.

Quit ignoring the problem.  Don’t look the other way.
Do something to help.  That could easily be you some day.

Copyright © Susan Berg | Year Posted 2009


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  1. Date: 3/28/2016 8:12:00 PM

    Susan Berg, awesome poem. LINDA
  1. Date: 8/10/2015 11:05:00 PM

  1. Date: 11/10/2010 9:10:00 AM

    Congratulations on your poetry making it through the first round of the Poetrysoup site contest Susan. The best to you in the finals. Love, Carol
  1. Date: 9/15/2010 11:41:00 PM

    Susan, you are so right. This could be any ONE of us one day. And it is happening all around us today. Geat write. I sure hope you have not had to live this life style. I would just hate it. LUv, Andrea
  1. Date: 1/5/2010 7:47:00 AM

    Congratulations Susan, You have made it through the first round of judging for Poetrysoup October 13, 2009 poetry contest with your poem "Begging Change from Society". Your words ring true. There are those who escape the streets. And others who unite to help one another just live... 2009 was a successful year of poetry for you. I come, now, wishing you continued success in your writing endeavors throughout 2010 and for many years to come. God be with you. Lovingly, Dane Ann
  1. Date: 12/22/2009 10:21:00 AM

    Congratulations on being a first round survivor and the best to you in the finals Susan. I wish you the best in your writing endeavors in 2010 whatever they may be. Love, Carol
  1. Date: 12/22/2009 7:25:00 AM

    ...I feel like when you really look at I don't have all that much more power then my homeless brethren.I just have my mental faculties and a steady paying job. I could volunteer at a shelter sure but there's only so much one can give in his time. Hopefully works like this can raise enough awareness to pass some kind of social legislation which is in my opinion the only to be done to help these pour souls.That's why we have a public sector, because not everyone has money to buy themselves a life.
  1. Date: 12/22/2009 7:23:00 AM

    Wow the double meaning in the title is staggeringly brilliant. I was really taken aback. I used to want to help, one time I bought a guy a cheesburger value meal from McD's thinking it would make me feel better. Unfortunately sooner or later my cynicism took over and I felt I was putting a bandaid on a huge gaping flesh wound in society's so called welfare for the poor. You say "Do something to help" and I, and many others will say 'do what?'. That's the saddest part in my opinion...
  1. Date: 12/21/2009 9:42:00 PM

    Powerful and sadly true. Congratulations on making through the first round and best wishes on advancing on to the finals. Love, Lainie
  1. Date: 12/21/2009 8:18:00 AM

    Congrats on your poem winning the first round of PS contest!! Very well deserved, enjoyed reading your wonderful poetry. Here’s wishing you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!! May 2010 be your best year ever! Love Light Patty
  1. Date: 12/20/2009 2:39:00 PM

    Congratulations on moving to the next round with this great poem, Susan! Wishing you joy and happiness in the New Year, love, Carolyn
  1. Date: 12/20/2009 9:30:00 AM

    Many congratulations on reaching the second round with your fine poem >> James
  1. Date: 12/9/2009 11:20:00 AM

    Many congrats on your featured poem this week. Rgds Janette
  1. Date: 12/9/2009 2:40:00 AM

    Congratulations on having your poem featured this week. A. W. Nutter
  1. Date: 12/8/2009 5:00:00 AM

    Congratulations on your poetry being featured this week Susan. May you have many more. Love, Carol
  1. Date: 12/7/2009 12:33:00 PM

    Congratulations on your poem being featured >> James
  1. Date: 12/7/2009 12:12:00 AM

    Congrats on your featured poem! ***Danielle***
  1. Date: 12/6/2009 2:05:00 PM

    Great writing here, Susan. Maybe truth is no longer hiding (please check out A Christmas Child that I just finished ... smile) and we can hear about the real world ... smile ... Welcome to PoetrySoup and congratulations on having your writing featured this week!! Hope to read lots more from you.
  1. Date: 11/24/2009 4:26:00 AM

    Very informing couplet about the situation of life in America. There are many that are in this perdictament now and if there is not a turn around it will get worse. Keep your creative pen flowing. Sara
  1. Date: 6/9/2009 8:13:00 AM

    You are talking about a social malady that I know from first person experience ... the help is not in human sympathy, but in socio-political change ... your poems are troubling the waters and doing that just now, bravo!
  1. Date: 6/9/2009 8:04:00 AM

    This is a strong write..love how you painted the scenery and delivered the message in the poem..strong words..effective write.