Thirst and Hunger

Thirst is not a disease

Nor hunger a plague waged as a personal attack..

The dirty and downtrodden are not animals with opposing thumbs

Foraging through trash bins for food.

Their children are not parasites to be frowned upon!

They love just as you do with the same wants and needs.

Hands cracked and calloused know hard work.

Many toil hard and long for the barest of necessities

Only to fall short, thankful for assistance.

Yet you despise the poor collectively,

Lazy, blood suckers, bums, leeches,

Used as terms of endearment.

Speaking as though you know them or their circumstance

You display nothing but ignorance.

What do you know of their lives, their pain, their poverty?

Many are victims of economics,

Failing of health or disability,

Casualties of familial history,

Deprived of education,

Forgotten or blamed by the very souls with the power to change.

Greed and loathing blind,

Banishing compassion and humanity to the pits of hell.


~~ Dominic R. DiFrancesco ~~



Through trash bins,

Rubbish heaps,

Loitering beyond alley doors,

Waiting for “the good stuff”.

Jagged nails,

Through fingerless gloves,

Sort through treasures,

Maybe a doughnut,

Scrap of bread,

Half eaten burger,

A meal fit for a king.

Seen on steam grate mattresses,

Fetal curl for warmth;

Passersby arc wide birth

To avoid their touch.

Rain draws trash bag slickers,

Doorways, cardboard,

Rags for umbrellas,

Taxi’s thrown sludge sprays the invisible

With cities dirt and grim.

Will they be here tomorrow?

Will anyone notice their absence?

As their shopping cart sits idle

Ravaged by fellow unseen.


~~ Dominic R. DiFrancesco ~~

Boarded Windows

Boarded windows,

Graffiti covered,

Paint peeling,

Chain link rusted,

Grass overgrown,

Strewn with litter,

Sidewalks cracked,

Shutters hanging,

Door unhinged,

Doorbell silent,

No one home,

For Sale sign,

Bank owned,

No ones buying,

House after house,

Block after block

City after city,

All the same,

Plant closed,

Jobs left,

Gone for good,


What to do

Same old question,

Same old answer,

No food,

No home,

No job,

No one cares.


~~ Dominic R. DiFrancesco ~~

Are They Asking Too Much

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Parents bleed failure

Shattered by their children’s cries

Hungry and dirty

Tortured by their poverty

They look above for relief

But prayers are ignored

They don’t qualify for aid

How poor must you be

In this, the greatest nation

Before they are helped


~~ Dominic R. DiFrancesco ~~

Sin and Goodness

Sin and goodness

Are separated by a razors edge.


This pair expounded

By the fallible minds of men.


One only need look internal

To see their own fallibilities.


A query is begged of you;

Are the sins of the single mother,

Who resorts to harlotry to feed her children,

Any greater a sin in the eyes of God

Than those of the wealthy who hoard their riches

While ignoring the plight of the poor and infirm?


True sin resides in greed and contempt,

Goading sin from otherwise good souls.


The mothers desperation urged by good intent,

While the wealthy was compelled

Out of selfishness and pomposity.


Lines between sin and goodness blur

Through the perceptions of man.


Objectivity escapes us in our passion;

Making us the poorest of judges.


Would not their fates be best left

To the sagacity of God?


~~ Dominic R. DIFrancesco ~~

The Road Home

Stove burners blue flame

Dangerous heat

Warming frigid trembling hands

Radiator cold

Rent control all he can afford

Children absent and estranged

He’s invisible in this world

Old friends to the old man gone

Passed before his time

Rotary telephone shows its age

Symbiotically keeping pace

Silent and out-of-date

Thoughts of youth flutter

Flashbacks in his fragmenting mind

Remembrances of companions

Lost loves

And a wife

Still 20 to him,

After a lonely decade adrift

Living because he won’t die

He longs to sleep forever

But it is not God’s will

Not his time

Shuffling to the stove

He warms his trembling hands

To wait for meals-on-wheels

Or the Lord to take him home


~~ D. R. DiFrancesco ~~


Over A Barrel

Coffee thick and strong,

Cooked over an panhandlers stove.


A barrel fire for warmth,

Trash confiscated as fuel.


Emitting the foulest of odors,

Room for but a few.


Night frigid under tenement shadows,

Shanties erected haphazard.


Rags moth eaten and ragged,

Held up by anything scavenged.


Shelters vulnerable to the storm,

Little choice in the matter.


Homes taken,

Jobs shipped overseas.


Children hungry and cold,

Let down by an unsympathetic people.


A movie scene?

No, these are real lives.


Real people,

This is life on the street.

~~ D. R. DiFrancesco ~~


Little one,

You never asked to be brought into this world.


Cold and cruel,

Born on the wrong side of the tracks.


A mother’s love,

Can feed the soul, but the body still craves.


Too young to speak,

Still your cries speak louder than any words.


Sustenance is your right,

Denial would only draw covenant with your demise.


Dying is inevitable,

A fact of life, but a fate undeserved to one so young.


Blamed for your station,

You live in the shadows,

Cursed by the sins of your father,

Left to scavenge at the fringes,

Only to be forgotten,

Or treated as a pariah,

By defect of conscience.

~~ D. R. DiFrancesco ~~

Here Today Gone Tomorrow

Calloused hands cracked and bleeding

Ne’er a chance to heal

Family counting on the sweat of labor

For sustenance

And a roof overhead

Nothing more matters in this world

Molten steel pays the bills

Scalded skin and blisters overtime

And he’ll go it again tomorrow

The mill a second home

Thirty years, a day never missed

But what matter does it make

Pink slips are coming

Jobs moving overseas

Loyalty counts for nothing these days

Just a number easily erased

Profits put ahead of people

Born of cheaper labor in the Far East

Silence over dinner

Uncertainty an unwelcomed guest

Visits every evening

Wifes eyes offer comfort

Hidden deep, she knows there is none

How to go on

Everything lost

Skilled to do little else

Some would call this progress

Another unnamed martyr

Of the corporate machine

~~ D. R. DiFrancesco ~~