Poem by Linda: 106 Days of Homelessness, A 2006 Memoir

The sleeping figure
Safe in a church doorway
his hand resting on
his faithful canine companion
quietly curled up beside him
below the loud
No Loitering!” sign

Humbled thoughts
a reminder of what almost was
kneel before me
There but for the grace of God
Go I

Against my will
Against everything I fought for,
I lost
I surrendered
my home
my car
my cat
my friends
my very grounding
my almost everything

I handed over my keys
walked out the door
with only my overnight bag
with only my little dog

I didn’t deserve any of it
The punishment did not fit the crime
There was no crime.
There was no crime.

“It’s a blessing in disguise,”
I heard a voice say

In 106 days
I moved twenty-two times
a night here, two nights there
not knowing on many of those days
where I’d curl up that night
perhaps in the safety of a
church doorway
in hopes the morning
light would bring sun
respite from the dreary gray
the constant dreary gray
the foggy dreary gray
the drizzling dreary gray
the raining dreary gray
gray, always dreary gray
the dreary gray
I’d huddled with my little dog
through ocean storms
sheltered in a freezing cold garage
for a week
until a friend
I thought a friend, observes
“Your situation is not dire.”
I left the cold, freezing garage
I left the friend
I left the friendship.

It was a déjà vu event
history repeating itself
we’d been here before
losing my home
at the mercy of Mother Nature’s
winter moods
her tirades on some days
her unrelenting depressive ways
Why, why, why?!
What foul trick
was this universe playing on
the dark night of my soul
for what reason to find
the belly of the whale again
for what lesson
to see no light at the end of the tunnel

Who would want to live
this life? I ask of
my birthday wish:
That God take me this year.

I didn’t deserve any of it
The punishment did not fit the crime
There was no crime
There was no crime

106 days of gray
and then!
A new key
placed in my hand
the madness of homelessness over.

“The blessing in disguise”
yet to be seen.
“The blessing in disguise”
yet to be seen.

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