Poem: “Requiem for the Homeless Man”

Requiem for the Homeless Man

He died of an overdose
of neglect; who cares
that he was one of the hidden
people exiled from smiles.

His sores were so heavy he had to lean them
against a wall, a bench, or a gate,
or let them fall
into the gutter where he belonged
who cares?

What’s left in his pockets is scarce
a few dollops of lint,
two or three mustard seeds,
a browning lily folded in two
like his life.

His obituary made the evening winds
flying his soul to the bosom of God
who cares.

Philip C. Kolin

Philip C. Kolin, Professor of English at the University of Southern Mississippi, has published four books of poems, including Deep Wonder: Poems (Grey Owl Press, 2000) and, most recently, A Parable of Women: Poems (Yazoo River Press, 2009). More than 200 of his poems have appeared in or are forthcoming in such journals as Christian Century, America, St. Austin Review, Christianity and Literature, Michigan Quarterly Review, Windhover, Seminary Ridge Review, Louisiana Literature, Blue Collar Review, St. Anthony Messenger, South Carolina  Review, etc. Kolin is also the founding editor of Vineyards: A Journal of Christian Poetry (www.vineyardspoetry.com) .  He was educated by the Jesuits and the Dominicans and considers St. Joseph his patron.