My Homeless Neighbor


Art leans toward personal experience. Next week and next month I will help transition homeless neighbors from long-term camps. Because I struggle with this, my mind has wandered into verse.

“My Homeless Neighbor”

My ceiling is stucco, but yours is the stars.
My floor has some dust, but yours is the dirt.
My walls are light wood, but yours are the wind.
I sit in a rocker, but you on a rock.
I cook on a stove, but you cook in smoke.
I fill my dog’s dish, but your share your dinner.
I rest on a sofa, but you on a stone.
I plan a vacation, but you an eviction.
As darkness descends and we crawl in our beds,
we fluff up our pillows and lay down our heads.
I pray for my family as you pray for yours;
on some nights we whimper, on others we roar.
We wake in the morning another day old,
and I’m wrapped up cozy but you’re in the cold.

About Ben Unseth

Executive Director at Project Understanding (2014-2017), social service agency in Ventura, CA
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