Adeline Foster

Gold Star - 9,222 Points (Instructor of poetry, Hagerstown, MD)

^ We The Unencumbered - Poem by Adeline Foster

^ We The Unencumbered

Tattered misfits, we are called,
We ask not hate nor love;
Survival is our handbook
Stitched with suspicion's glove.
....We the unencumbered -
........We the homeless rove...

Nomads of an affluent age,
Life viewed from simple stance;
Lacking wage or praise of skill
We use what comes of chance.
....We the unencumbered -
........We the homeless stand...

Exiled by necessity,
We accept what has to be.
Yet beats a heart within us
That bleeds as others bleed.
....We the unencumbered -
........We the homeless need...

Pride we own, as fierce as yours,
And devotion to a creed:
The lux'ry of simplicity
Is what we ask and need.
....We the unencumbered -
........We the homeless plead...

That we your discards salvage,
For which you have no use,
Condemns us not as outright thieves,
Nor do we all abuse.
....We the unencumbered -
........We the homeless choose...

Not to offend your conscience
Do we offend your eyes,
Or creep beneath your city life,
Or sleep beneath your skies.
....We the unencumbered -
........We the homeless bide...

Dim beneath your high-rise flats;
Your costly tenements,
Where order and disorder meet
In churlish arguments,
....We the unencumbered -
........ We the homeless tent...

Relieved of rent or power bill,
No cable TV fee;
Allotted to the crumbs that fall,
We joy in what is free.
....We the unencumbered -
........We the homeless spree...

Drop-outs from affluency,
Who own naught but ourselves;
Senses dulled for want of tears,
Numb for want of cause.
....We the unencumbered -
........We the homeless pause...

Against the angry indigo
In the profile of a storm,
Amid our cardboard shanties
Where newsprint keeps us warm
....We the unencumbered -
........We the homeless scorn...

Palates trained in preference,
We forage as the beast.
Over-ripe, rejected scraps
Become the gleaner's feast.
....We the unencumbered -
........We the homeless fast...

Reclaimed costumes, dated, yet
Suited to a timeless style;
In beauty of sufficiency
Resplendent for a while.
....We the unencumbered -
........We the homeless smile...

Deprived of aspirations,
But to live as best we dare.
Ambition is, as we have seen,
But avarice of care.
....We the unencumbered -
........We the homeless share...

Poverty out-witted for -
History's pages do attest -
All humans are not fitted for
Civ'lization's callousness.
....We the unencumbered -
........We the homeless rest.

Topic(s) of this poem: poem, homelessness

Comments about ^ We The Unencumbered by Adeline Foster

  • Edward Kofi Louis (9/8/2016 4:20:00 AM)

    Survival is our handbook! Thanks for sharing. (Report) Reply

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  • Mary Angela Douglas (7/23/2016 6:01:00 PM)

    there are slogans all over the place about restoring dignity to the underserved etc. In your poem you show so clearly that dignity was never lost; just the perception of it. This poem has real nobility and feeling and eloquence and power.
    As a lower income person myself quite often subject to scorn and labeling where it just doesn't apply, I felt deeply comforted by this poem and I am certain that others will too.
    (Report) Reply

  • Liilia Morrison (7/6/2016 7:07:00 PM)

    Very powerful statement regarding the reality of homelessness. You really get into the heart of those unencumbered with a lot of compassion and love. A terrific poem. Thank you very much for caring and sharing. Liilia (Report) Reply

  • Leah Ross (4/22/2016 4:50:00 PM)

    a very profound write speaks to the world the problems we have (Report) Reply

  • Liza Sudina (3/15/2016 3:30:00 PM)

    Adeline, it is a very strong poem. it shatters my heart.and makes feel lack of altruism and shame for my stone heart.
    I was listening to romantic music now - but I stopped it while reading your poem.
    my mood became social.
    (Report) Reply

  • Agatha Eliza (3/7/2016 2:13:00 AM)

    If all the misfits, nomads, exiled and homeless had a message to transmit to the world, it would have been the one which is perfectly illustrated in the verses of this poem...The derelicts have a voice now, and stand out as statues, visible to all pairs of eyes exposed in front of humanity, revealing the lack of empathy, cuelty and the social inequality. Wonderfully written poem! (Report) Reply

  • Mike Smith (2/20/2016 5:39:00 PM)

    Beautifully written. Chalked full of images and truisms, this is a poem that cast a light on our most impoverished inhabitants. It highlights the humanity of the homeless which is important because too often they are thought of as inferior simply for their economic hardships.10 (Report) Reply

  • (1/10/2016 2:33:00 PM)

    An amazing portrayal of homelessness, it just gripped my heart with it's total honesty, you have gone within the depths no others dared to tread. Absolutely stark and real, no one able to deny the truth of what you've written in this poem. Love it! Thank you for sharing the truth. RoseAnn (Report) Reply

  • Brian Mayo (1/9/2016 10:43:00 PM)

    I'm sure the unencumbered would appreciate this poem. If only there was some way for them to see it...
    You did a real nice job. A lot of thought and effort went into this and it shows.
    (Report) Reply

  • Vivek Mishra (10/23/2015 8:32:00 AM)

    An accurate depiction of forms and reality in words. Your poem catches the very reality, even of my country and perhaps all the places around the world, very realistic indeed. :) (Report) Reply

  • Dexsta Ray (9/8/2015 9:50:00 PM)

    I love the words and flow of this poem. Great job! (Report) Reply

  • Ann Dow (8/13/2015 8:39:00 AM)

    beautiful..thank you for drawing my attention to this work! I am seeing such inestimable joy and gorgeousness in humanity lately..your words capture the strength- solid and winged - I am seeing unfold.. namaste [3 (Report) Reply

  • Paul Amrod (7/21/2015 3:26:00 PM)

    Hi Adeline, This is for me a tribute to the urchins of our city streets and should be rubbed under Rockelfeller's nose. I find it is a form of protest poetry, bold and enlivened with a spirit of rambunctiousness. I wrote a sarcastic piece you may like called For all the Lost Hippy's Wherever They May Be Thank you for reading my fantasy tidbit. I am almost a Canadian. I was born as you see on the tip of Quebec. All the best. Paul (Report) Reply

  • Ann Dow (7/15/2015 5:33:00 PM)

    It resonates...plucks a string in me I visited earlier today..for a different reason but the heartache remains the same. Lovely work. Thank you for the invitation to read and for likewise reading mine. Write on! (Report) Reply

  • Thyris Taylor (5/21/2015 10:22:00 PM)

    This should be set to music and sung by a chorus from a place that all could hear. (Report) Reply

  • Valerie Hutchinson-morgan (8/8/2014 11:52:00 PM)

    Beautifully written... a testimony for the disenfranchised.
    Love the way the last line of each stanza links to the next.
    (Report) Reply

  • Diane Hine (7/26/2014 1:54:00 AM)

    'rove, stand, need, plead........share, rest' are all words which could equally be applied to the affluent. In other words, there's less difference between us all than some would like to think. This is an impressively structured poem. (Report) Reply

  • (12/3/2013 2:17:00 PM)

    wow and i thought i write great poetry, this is great (Report) Reply

  • (7/23/2013 10:04:00 AM)

    I wholeheartedly agree with Valerie Dohren's comment. Brilliant work- A solid ten. In a way it reminds me of Judy Garland's and Fred Astaire's we are a couple of swells only with a heavy dose of reality. (Report) Reply

  • (5/15/2013 4:20:00 PM)

    Super Poem... 'unencunbrance' can lead to doom... Terry (Report) Reply

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Poem Submitted: Saturday, December 27, 2008

Poem Edited: Thursday, April 7, 2016

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