Project Description

Bus Ride of the Homeless | Lisa Lee-Johnson

We are homeless, but I am creative with mine
I took advantage of the time, in my thoughts and protected my
Everyday, we searched for housing . . . and took the bus to different
In search of peace, quiet and opportunity
We would laugh and laugh declaring that’s my house no that’s my
Then after a while the sheer reality set in and we all became
quiet like a trapped mouse
Open-mouthed gawked out the bus windows at the well-manicured
With statues of animals like a deer or a fawn
Children laughing and playing unconcerned without fear or malice
Whom we imagined had names like George . . . Peter
and Alice
Nope, I didn’t have to cook every night . . . we ate whatever they
Even if the food was greasy, or cold, or just plain awful I was
grateful I didn’t say a word
The next day we would get up and begin the same routine . . .
We would go to another neighborhood and do the same thing
They didn’t want to play the stupid housing game anymore
They just wanted a home with three bedrooms maybe four
This homeless situation thing has now lasted for over a year
My children grew weary, cruel and mean for the first time they
felt my fear
So we ride the bus in awkward despair
And aimlessly gaze out the windows without hope or care
A year is a long time to live on borrowed time
It’s a long time to live on someone else’s dime
I got a new job and went to work, the children went to school and
are still so ashamed
Those are the homeless kids somebody would yell, like that’s my
children’s name
And I allowed my mind to wonder about anything but this nightmare
And sit quietly and painfully stare
We go back and forth to the shelter, to work, to school, we eat
the food even if it is greasy or cold
And we never speak about the housing game . . . it is like ghastly
folklore untold
With no rhyme or reason
America’s treason
I have lost the vision
The hope, the power to dream