July 28, 2017

Anybody Care to Help? {Poem}

Living in a city like New York has been a thrilling experience, but it has also been one filled with pain because I’m constantly observing the suffering that is occurring around me.

On my morning commutes into the city, I run into the same homeless people almost daily.

They always have a speech that precedes them asking train passengers for money. Often, the cries of the homeless are met with silence, but there’s almost always one person who offers whatever they can to help.

This mixture of silence and charity inspired me to take a look at my own interactions with this suffering, and scrutinize both myself and those around me. I wanted to further explore what has caused me to become so jaded to the pain that is commonplace in city life.

When people read this, I want them to question their lives in relation to others they see as merely strangers and beggars. I want people to ask themselves the simple question: “Do I care to help?”

Anybody Care to Help?

“Anybody care to help?”
A homeless woman cried
But nobody said a peep
Including me
Who sat quietly drinking fancy iced coffee
Drowning out the noise of the morning subway

“Anybody care to help?”
Once again silence
Typical on this morning commute…

“Anybody care to help?”
‘Cause this is New York City
And everyone’s got a story
The sidewalks are lined with homeless people sleeping side by side
As people in business-casual stride by
With no thoughts of love toward those who are suffering
Since they’ve failed to lift up from their metaphorical bootstraps

“Anybody care to help?”
Perhaps I would
But not today
‘Cause I’ve counted my hard-earned dollars
To last me ’til payday
I’m sorry
But you’ll have to make your own way
I could care more
But it’s not the American way

“Anybody care to help?”
The ride was coming to a stop
Still no one paid attention to the woman
I thought us all heartless
Until I saw a man
Take cash out of his pocket
Put five dollars in his hand
For the woman whose routine I saw repeatedly on this train
A woman I deemed unworthy of my spare change
Since I figured her act was just a scam

Which would make her no different than the rest of us.


Author: Amanda Greenidge
Image: Wikimedia Commons
Editor: Leah Sugerman
Copy Editor: Nicole Cameron
Social Editor: Callie Rushton

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