Move on Wounded Soldier

At a resource shelter Sunday night, our intern Ashley met several veterans who had come in from their camps for a night off the streets and to get connected to resources. When she left, she wrote this poem:

Move on wounded soldier, we can see you’re no longer able,
we thank you for your service but you bring nothing to the table.

Please hurry now and go, move on now on your way,
the tourist will be coming soon, and we want to all get paid.

Move on wounded soldier, your work it has been done,
this fresh air belongs to the business men and women,
and you’re distracting tourists from fun.

You make us all feel guilty, for living lavishly,
for it’s not our fault or problem that you’re living in poverty.

You did this to yourself, by fighting for our lives,
now you’ve gone and hurt yourself, and you’ll pay the ultimate sacrifice.

Now get on your way wounded soldier, get going toward the camps,
it’s time for fun on Broadway and you’re sitting where we dance.

(About the photo: just a little over a year ago now we lost Homer who had served three tours of duty in Vietnam. When we met him he was 67, in a wheelchair with limited mobility from an implant due to a degenerative spine following service, with diabetes, COPD, neuropathy, a heart surgery survivor. He found himself on the streets of our city both destitute and depressed, and he said the only place the police wouldn’t harass him at night was the churchyard of Holy Trinity Episcopal Church where we met him (below). We got him into a hotel, medical care, and started his paperwork to get him housing, but it was too late. His funeral was attended by three of us from Open Table and two from the VA.)

Homer at Holy Trinity