Left-behind Takeout

Lunchtime.
the food trucks are parked,
lined up in a square
around once-vibrant flower gardens
at Civic Center park.

eat Local, buy Local,
whatever you are in the mood for:
expensive street tacos,
ethnic food,
barbecue,
New Orleans cuisine,
fancy pizza,
fatty burgers.

it’s great for our economy,
nice if you can afford to eat this way.

a few hundred feet away
homeless sit on benches,
lean against pillars
of the Greek amphitheater
with their few possessions:
a box of Ritz crackers
& an empty Gatorade bottle,
bulging plastic bags
like some suit-and-tie’s left-behind takeout.

they sleep in the shade,
drooling,
smelling the smells
wafting from the food trucks.
watching the worker bees
punch ATM buttons —
signs posted say Cash Only.

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16 thoughts on “Left-behind Takeout

  1. a great capture of the scene…some throw their food away and others dig for it in the trash bins…ugh… wished some of them would buy two burgers and share it with one of the homeless every once and awhile

  2. its a hard life…downtown, city center is one of those places where the lines come awfully close together between the haves and have nots…if we support local business can we not support local people as well?

  3. It’s festival time in North Florida after a long hot summer and arriving at a Seafood Festival on Friday..my sentiments were the same..most of the people in the city are priced out at a root beer for $5 and a styrofoam plate of shrimp for $25…

    And yes i can afford it..as fortunate as i am..but i could not help but to think about that homeless guy on the way ‘up’ to Seafood land..and so i decided to spend the money on him..instead.. and grab a burger at Burger King..it satisfied my appetite for love.

  4. I can feel your frustration in this poem, and I agree with Bjorn, that is contained. Any poem that eludes to the homeless has my attention. This was a great write. I could easily visualize the setting as well as the feeling of that so many are oblivious to those less fortunate.

  5. Life downtown isn’t always fair, but I wonder what the answer is…when the people in the food trucks are struggling to make a living too. But really no one should have to go hungry.

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