That Guy Over There

I love to see my friends each day,
And tell them all hello.
I love to give them lots of hugs,
I’m sad to see them go.
I’m happy each and every time,
There’s something new to share!
I love to greet most everyone…
But that guy, over there.

I only want the best for folks,
My friends and family.
I want to see them all succeed,
And see them all happy.
When anyone must go without,
I think it’s so unfair.
Everyone deserves their share…
But that guy, over there.

When anyone I love gets sick,
I want to make them well.
Send them flowers and a card,
So they’re loved, and they can tell.
Everyone needs someone who,
They know will be right there,
Everybody else, that is…
Not that guy, over there.

Everyone should go to school,
And learn about the world,
Every single little boy,
And every little girl.
To learn to add and to subtract,
To learn to read and write.
Except for that guy and his kids…
No, they don’t have the right.

And when it’s winter and it’s grey,
And your bones get tired and cold,
Everyone should come get warm;
The young folk and the old.
Everyone can come inside,
And snuggle up as one.
Drink cocoa and have cups of tea,
Watch movies and have fun.
To sit together, cuddled up,
With heating and a bed.
Except for that guy over there…
Leave him outside instead.

In fact it would be better if,
He wasn’t there at all.
We wouldn’t have to awkwardly,
Ignore his desperate call.
He makes us all uncomfortable,
Reaching out to us for help…
But maybe that’s because his face…
Reminds us of ourself.

Come to think of it, that’s it!
We just don’t want to see,
Something that could easily,
Become of you or me.
We do not want to have to think,
How it would really feel,
To be crying out for help from folk,
Who act like you’re not real.

When you stop to look at it,
It’s really awful that,
There’s something we all need to face,
And yet we turn our back.
It’s easier to just assume,
That he’s the one to blame,
Than realise that you and me,
And that guy…
are the same.

– Gord Laws. March 17, 2020

This poem was written as part of my #IsolationChallenge to myself to create more during the Covid-19 crisis. I asked friends and followers on my socials to suggest topics and story ideas so that I could increase my output of this medium I love while business has ground to a halt and I am home alone.

This was inspired by my great friend and mentor Felix Kessel’s suggestion; “Why can we just walk past the beggar?”. It struck a chord with me. Thanks Felix. I hope this maybe struck a chord with you too. And I hope, one day, people read this in happier times and remember the Covid-19 pandemic as a distant memory. And maybe, at people who have nothing, no one and nowhere, as a memory too.

Also, I don’t know who the awesome illustration belongs to. It’s not mine. I just found it on the internet. If it’s yours or you know whose it is, please let me know.