In the Presence of the Dispossessed

In the presence of the dispossessed,
their grubby sleeping bags lining the streets,
some asleep, others with hands outstretched,
their eyes averted or a challenging stare
thrown out, this feels a lot like impotence.

Who do we give to, all or none at all?
A few, then smile and try to ignore the rest?
Comply with requests for only a few pence
to buy a tea or shelter for the night
or walk on by, aloof from their despair?

Whatever we do it makes no difference.
A handout or two is neither here nor there
when what's required is a struggle for the right
to shelter, food and warmth, replacing fear,
a common purpose meaning that we care.

A struggle to upend the status quo
that ensures the needs of capital come first.
To stop the fact these folk fuel the fires
that forge wealth and profit for the few
but leaves this human debris lacking light.