Homeless Veterans of America

I found this poem on the front page of a local paper here in Nashville.  The paper is distributed by homeless people.  It costs one dollar and costs about a nickel to produce.  That means by selling these papers, the homeless vendors get 95 cents each paper they sell.  Great employment initiative, and the articles are written by homeless and formerly homeless folks around Nashville.  This was the July issue.

Homeless Veterans of America

Homeless Veteran

(Written under Nashville’s Gateway Bridge)

America prefers dead heroes
To make speeches about once a year
But those of us with broken lives
They really don’t want to hear
So between the wine, the drugs, the whiskey
And we can’t forget the beer
They ease our pains and deaden our brains
As we slide on through the years

The Veteran’s Administration
On that we’re told to depend
They take good care of retired generals
Their wives, their kids, their friends
But those of us with Other Discharge
To us they will not attend

God’s Word plainly states it
In 1 John 3 you see
There ain’t no haters in heaven
So we both know where they’ll be
But it sure does confound me
So it sure is a mystery to me
Why the downtown businessmen’s
Keep dumping their hate on me

Nashville’s finest despise me
And love to beat me down
Call me the earth’s lowest scum
Tell me to get the hell out of town
Truth is, I can’t call them liars
Because I’m every man’s fear
Every time I draw near
So under the bridge I go hide

So don’t build me no dammed statues
To lay flowers at when I’m gone
I don’t want a mausoleum
To hold my rotting bones
All those dollars too dear to spare
Don’t spend on a marble stone
It’s not my fault I didn’t die over there
With the others that didn’t come home

Yes I’m a card-carrying member
Of the Homeless Veterans of America
Thousands strong from coast to coast
Under the bridges that we call home

So Lord I pray
Give me the strength
Don’t make me stay
Let me take the jump
From this bridge that I call home

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