under the bridge

Greetings, my dear digital friends!

I am always amazed how innocent and often revelatory the mind of a child can be.

They can observe the world absent the enormity of experience or bias that we adults wear like a mantle of denial throughout our lives.

This week’s poem plays with that childhood point of view using an all-too-familiar problem we see exploding on our streets.

As you know, I travel a lot for work to many large urban settings. And our homeless situation is the worst I have seen in my lifetime. Shameful.

Do we as adults continue to draw those cowls tighter around our faces? Keep walking by… do nothing?

This poem broke my heart when I wrote it. I hope it breaks yours, too.

Maybe then we can all do something – anything – to help.

-PS Conway ☘️ ☘️ ☘️

☘️ ☘️ ☘️ ☘️ ☘️

under the bridge

papa says the man

in the cardboard house

under the bridge

is an eccentric vagrant  

i don’t know what that is

all i know is he looks lonely

and really scared  

i think he’s a ghost

who lost his way to heaven

i’ve heard him talk to god  

but i think it must be a different god

the kind who makes you sad

cuz he made you a ghost  

and won’t tell you

where heaven is


  1. Paddy Boy, this is one of my most favorite poems you’ve penned. Utter poverty seen thru the eyes of a child.
    It brought back vivid memories of my few years volunteering at a local soup kitchen and years ago in Juarez, Mexico.
    Just simple but beautiful ❤️.

    1. Glad you enjoyed it, pop! Sometimes less is more… this one got really strong emotional reaction from my beta readers. Sláinte 🍷🙏🏻✨💕

  2. Pain in those words, PS! The analogy of the vagrant to a ghost as if he is unseen, yet is so seen, and often disgusts people who have no heart for their circumstances or their story. And every one of them has a story! So well written from the child’s point of view, too! Outstanding!

    1. So well said, PS! Seeing and unseeing… the way of the world. The challenge is for us all – what do we in fact do about it? Thanks my friend! 🙏🏻✨🍷🌹

  3. Oof, this short poem packs a powerful punch to the gut Pat. Yes, we tend to treat the homeless like ghosts in our midst — nearly invisible and mysterious. They wander slowly, like zombies. We treat them as if they are already dead. We are too busy to offer them our time, effort, energy. Someone else will deal with the problem. Except they won’t. 😥

    1. Truth! I think that was my intent with writing this poem thru the POV of a child… we adults are often neutered by repetition. Our empathy can be lost in our own selfish concerns. Glad you felt the emotional heft of this one, my friend. Thank you. 🙏🌹🍷❤️‍🩹✨

  4. This poem touches the heart and ignites a response … Homelessness is one of many of societies problems that gets swept under the carpet, you lifted the corner and looked at this appalling situation from a small child’s perspective, that’s inspired thinking.
    To a child a box is fun place for play, make believe, a den, to a homeless person a box is a life or death reality.
    Where is Social Justice, where is compassion ??
    Thank you for a poem that can start a conversation that needs to happen.
    I love poetry it enriches the soul.

    1. You leave the most amazing comments, Sandie! Brilliantly stated with both insight and empathy, my friend. Cheers and thank you! 🙏🏻☘️🍷🌹✨

  5. A lovely poem. Too bad we go through life seeing, yet not seeing the ghost that lives under the bridge. It breaks my heart how humanity can be indifferent.

Leave a Reply