Come, Vern … Let’s Go Home






Come, Vern … Let’s Go Home

By Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee/@GeeGranny



Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee




Sitting in darkness … cold, cold darkness

I peeped out through the slit in the canvas tent

I sat in … bundled up in every rag I could find

Praying that no one would bother me

While I sat here vulnerable, at the mercy

At the mercy of the world … please don’t notice me

Rain fell heavily on the tent I lived in

I could see it in the night light I camped near

The only comfort in my life was that one light

To keep the darkness at bay

Keep fear, grief away … I needed the light

Somehow, the cold didn’t feel as cold

I heard someone cough nearby … I froze

Please Lord, keep them away

Don’t let them know I’m here alone

I was too bulked up in the rags

To fight back … I couldn’t bend my arms

It would be hard to stand up

I needed the rags to survive

They were a godsend … as long as I didn’t have to fight

To survive … I thought I’d found a safe place to live

Feet scuffed the frozen ground outside my tent

I couldn’t breathe … fear gripped me

Death lurked near … I was going to die tonight

I heard Death walk closer to my tent

I was all alone in this big, old world

No one knew me … knew I was here

Only Death would know who I was … where I was at

Not a living soul would know anything about me

I stayed to myself, never attracting attention

My whole world had gone away

I was just living until I died

I didn’t want to kill myself … though I wondered if I should

My hands began peeling off the rags

Never making a sound … they came off easily

As they were just wrapped around and around

My body rose up from the ground

I felt that old fighting spirit rise up in me

It had hidden … but, not anymore

I slipped quietly to the opening to peer outside

Saw the dark figure standing not far away

It turned … I knew it was looking at me

I was afraid … but, I was meeting Death head-on

I wasn’t going to just die without a fight

I opened the slit wider … stepped out

Death!  I spoke in a soft, quiet voice

I’m afraid of you … you might take me tonight

Not without one helluva fight … I’m not going easily

You’ve taken every loved one I ever had … away

Now … you want to take me?

No!  I thought I wanted to die … but, I’m not ready

Death stepped toward me … I wanted to hide

I held my ground … didn’t back down

I’m not ready to go … I know now, I have things to do

I knew at this very moment what I was going to do

It sure wasn’t going to be dying tonight

I had fallen flat on my face … sunk as low as low

I held myself straight, tall … powerful

While looking Death in the face

You be gone, Death!  Go now … I have things to do!

Death looked me in the face … pointed its finger at me

I stiffened my body … stayed strong

I sensed Death felt respect for me

A mere poor, broken shell of a person

Yet … standing strong as I could be

I defied Death … afraid … yet, ready to fight

I felt as if Death wanted to hug me

The coldness went away … I felt warmth

Was it Hell burning … or was it from Death’s heart

The warmth made my cold body feel better

I could feel my feet, legs now

I could walk … walk out of my Hell I lived in

Death turned its back on me … walked into the night

I turned, looked at the tent I had existed in

It was time to break Hell wide open

There wasn’t anything in the tent that would go with me

In my bra … I had all I needed

It was time to walk out of Hell … do things I needed to do

My feet began walking away from my camp site

Up the small hill … I stepped onto the sidewalk

Back onto the face of the earth … I was alive!

I looked a sight …. unkempt, maybe dirty

As I could only bathe when the weather was warm

I probably smelled bad … I wouldn’t get near any living soul

I walked five miles … I came to a house on Elm Street

It was my house … it was furnished, utilities still on

I had paid for them each month … using pay phones

I reached inside my bra for a small, purple and green purse

I unzipped it … took a key out … walked up onto the porch

Put the key inside the door … opened it, went inside

Locking the door behind me … I took a deep breath

Walked to the thermostat … turned the heat higher

Went to the bathroom …. ran a hot tub of water

Pulled the rags off … stuffed them into the waste basket

I wouldn’t be needing them anymore

I was back home now … I had some living to do

I turned the covers down on my bed

Slipped under them … pulled me around me

I was cozy, warm … I closed my eyes, slept

Got up the next day … I began to live

I was a rich woman … but, I hadn’t lived like one

I had gone to live with the homeless people I loved

I knew now, I would begin making dreams come true

Not for myself … for others who needed them desperately

I would begin with the homeless people I cared about

I would take money I was going to leave behind

While living until I died in the homeless world

Use it for good … instead of leaving it for others to enjoy

I knew the first person I would help

I drove near where I knew he was … a poor, broken soul

He was sitting on a bench … holding his chest

His name was Vern … an old, crippled man

He’d been homeless for many years

Because he was an alcoholic … he couldn’t live with anyone

His body trembled as he sat coughing, wheezing

Vern had emphysema, he was a sick man

I wanted him off the streets

I got out of my car, walked over to where Vern sat

He looked up at … looked closer, smiled

He recognized me, called my name

Yes, it’s me, Vern … I came here to take you away

To a nice place for you to live in peace, safety until you die

It’s a small travel trailer … cozy, warm

It’s in my back yard so, I can look after you

If you drink, it’s okay … you will be in your own home

No strings attached … no one will hurt you, I’ll watch over you

Vern looked up at me with his red-rimmed eyes

Tears flowed down his face

Sobs shook his shoulders as he cried

Come, Vern … let’s go home

He stood up, let me help him walk

To the car, get inside … buckle up

I took Vern home to live out his life

He had good food, shelter … safety

Vern lived out his life … he lived there for 2 years

In the meantime, I helped many homeless people

Go to a home where they could live safely

No one to bother them … they lived out their lives

I became happier each time I helped someone

I had a purpose in life … saving the world

I couldn’t save the whole world

But, I could save one person, one by one

Who knows how many I could save until the day I died

Yes, I had a lot of living … a lot of giving to do before I died



Note by this Author:


I was thinking about living in the homeless world … how one could just give up … go there.  No one would care … notice you are gone.


Why would I think such thoughts?  Because it’s my nature to imagine, think about everything.  Because … in today’s time a person could end up homeless if they have become OLD … have no money.  Unless … angels watched over them, protected them from such.


Vern is a real homeless man whom I met earlier this month.  I had compassion for him.  He was sick with emphysema, and he said he had a drinking problem … no one wanted him.


I had such compassion … and wished so much to have extra money to give to him to make his life somehow better.  I didn’t even have change on me.  He never asked for anything … I just wanted to give.


I have a special feeling for homeless people.  I always have, always will.  When I wrote this poem … I was imagining if I didn’t have my world … my Husband, Pups …. would I give up, just live until I die?


As I wrote … I could feel myself resigned to die until Death brought out my fighting spirit … I felt myself rise up … realize I had a purpose in life.


I don’t know my purpose in my life … I’d like to think I’m not a wasted soul.  I hope somehow through writing I can touch others in a good way.  I’m not perfect … I am a good person with a big Heart … loving, caring.


Photo/poem owned, written by Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee.


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