In advance of this year’s Homeless Persons’ Memorial Day, Urban Pathways and Care For the Homeless put out a call for writing submissions that pays tribute to those that we have lost or addresses the issue of homelessness. Submissions were gathered from those with the lived experience of homelessness, with one selected to be included in the Memorial’s program.

The poem selected was written by Urban Pathways Consumer Advocate, Will Woods, who graciously read the poem during the Memorial. Thank you, Will for sharing these beautiful words.

Poem for Homeless Persons’ Memorial Day 2021

By Will Woods

My heart is heavy

and my soul weeps

such anger and frustration

mired in pure futility

tired of senseless loss…

There is no greater desire

than one’s will to live

so it hurts more when life is lost

a double-edged blade

piercing the veil of our own mortality

Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow

does indeed creep on in its petty pace

but time is immemorial

life is not

Such infinitely complex

yet futile beings we are

with our expiration date issued at birth

with our taking our next breath for granted

yet forgetting eyes closed in the bliss of sleep

can only be reopened by god’s grace

Blessed be those who riseth on the day

and blessed be those

cradled in the bosom of his memory

Though saddened by loss

the heart is soothed

knowing a soul has been freed

from this mortal coil to his eternal rest

Goodbye mis gentes and good luck and

if you lose your way on this new journey

try to remember

its first star to the right

and straight on till morning

By Urban Pathways on December 24, 2021