Poem – A different face of hunger (By Narges Rothermel)

He is not from the arid or barren foreign lands

His faded-green-coat, hooded sweater, his dog-tag, his canteen,

and his metal cup on a green worn out blanket,

all tell me, he is one of our bravest men who proudly

has served his country.

He is a veteran of the wars in the land of power and plenty.


He hides his burned-scarred face under his hood,

when a passerby drops some coins or a few dollars

on the blanket or in the cup, he whispers, than you!

Then he packs his belongings puts inside of stolen shopping-cart

and heads to the nearest liquor store. He buys a cheap-brand-beer

pours it to his empty stomach in order to numb the pains

and dull the sound of exploding grenades, bombs, bullets, and the howling in his head.


Another homeless veteran of killing fields,

hunted by images of scattered body-parts of his fellow soldiers,

and the eyes a man he killed, the one said, God is great before his last breath.

He is consumed by echoes of the last words, last pleas, and the last prayers.


Every few hours, he drags his below-the-knee-amputated leg in rolled up pants

while pushing the shopping-cart and moves to another corner with no destination in mind.


With his hunger pain and thirst in search some food and water, aimlessly moves on.

Sometimes stops in front of a door or see through windows of restaurants

and stares at the ones eating the good foods, then moves on.

When he passes by a hamburger joint, the etched stench of burned flesh

mixed with burned cloth, rubber, and metal overrides the smell of charred-burgers.

He aims to a dumpster at nearby as the day before,

tries to sift through the wasted leftovers, hoping

to find something to eat and something to drink.