Which Do You Prefer?

Anawim Games

the skateboarders push him,
an Iroquois gautlet--
the suitcase man staggered;

name calling, spittle, kicks,
the anawim straightened,
held tight to his suitcase;

shoved back and forth and forth
and back and back and forth--
a human ball of catch.

The suitcase man is a homeless man I see almost every day. The kids give him a hard time, sometimes trying to take his suitcase from him, or just shoving him around, and calling him names. The aim of the poem is to arouse compassion by giving the reader the feel of being helplessly shoved back and forth. I'm finding that hard to do.


Anawim Shuffle

shoved back and forth and forth
the skateboarders push him
calling names, spitting and kicking

a human ball of catch.
the anawim straightened
holding tight to his suitcase.

an Iroquois gauntlet-
the suitcase man staggered--
and back and back and forth.

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