As my friends and I walked downtown to work
An old man looked up and whisper for some change
That horrid smell of rot and rank that stuck to his skin turned my stomach
And briskly we walked away and whispered amongst ourselves.
“Just shoot me if ever become a waste like that” I joked with my friends
As we all pointed and laughed.

Well, it was a good day’s work, a good day’s pay,
As we walked home at night there came that smell.
That old man looked up at us and whispered for some change
He’s an ugly site, a sore for our city streets
I pushed him aside, as we walked on by
‘How could someone live like that’ I thought to myself
As I looked down at him in disgust

Here’s how his story began

He was a family man with 3 children of his own
He had a loving wife
He had a stable job.

Just like you and me.

He was an accountant.
He walked those same streets
Ate the same food, and played the same games
He knew his place in this world and looked down to those that had failed

Just like you and me.

In one instant, an icy road changed his life forever.
One dead family, one dying man.
We wonder sometimes how low life could get
What if you lost everything that your life meant?
Could you recover?
You may not.
He never did.
His life he lost

You think we cared how his story began.

I woke up that morning from my nice warm bed
And a dream that put a smile on my face.
Today I get my raise, and tomorrow I pack for my cruise.
Life is good.
As me and my friends walk those same streets to work
We again could smell that horrid scent from that same old man
As we whispered to ourselves
“He just sleeps right there, right there on the sidewalk.
And he really does stinks! Why does he sleep where we walk everyday?”

Well another day, another dollar.
All I look forward to is this vacation, and I do deserve it.
On the way home, my friends and I stop for martinis and h’orderves
Little did we notice that old man still there
Still in the same spot, still he never moved.
And always the same whispers from the same people walking over the same old man

This is how his story ended

It was a winter-like night last night
No one cared but to see him gone.
He was old, weak and cold,
So he just lay down and died.
A whole night went by,
Then a whole day went by.
Still there he stayed
For no one dared to touch that old man.

The ambulance came later that night
To remove that old man
No one took notice
And no one ever would
With a whisper he’d ask for change.
And we’d give him none
With a whisper he’d cry till one day he died
And then not a whisper we heard from that old man

Because we didn’t care how his story ended.


Raymond Carle

Joined December 2007

  • Artist
  • Artwork Comments 4

Artist's Description

This is a story about the plight of the homeless in my city of Toronto. But I’m sure that we could see this in most of the cities out there. Sometimes we can’t look past who they are and who we are. But they are humans still, and we should learn to respect them as such.
Please feel free to comment, and if anyone wants me to read one of their works, please feel free to ask

Artwork Comments

  • deliriousgirl
  • Suzanne German
  • Raymond Carle
  • Natella2020
desktop tablet-landscape content-width tablet-portrait workstream-4-across phone-landscape phone-portrait
desktop tablet-landscape content-width tablet-portrait workstream-4-across phone-landscape phone-portrait

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