On the street lives a man, a cardboard box his shroud, amidst the musty smells, a lonesome moan in a passing crowd.
Ties, white shirts, most briefcase clad, hot dogs on the go,
fifty cents for a drink is very cheap you know.
Wrapped in plastic, his form emerges
and satirizes the bunch.
Some give him five or ten cents then hurry off to lunch.
He stuffs his profits in his coat and straightens up his boxes.
He crawls back inside, covers up like a wolf among the foxes.
Night falls once again, his belly cries and intensifies his urges.
The flag blows haphazardly in the midnight breeze, the US Capital
illuminated casts shadows on the trees.
Lover's laugh, walk briskly through the winding streets; the man watches carefully everyone he meets.
Five cents, ten cents it adds up in the end, tomorrow is Memorial Day, he'll have a buck by then.
A soldier once in Vietnam, his friends and faith were killed, he returned to his country another being, his hopes unfulfilled.
No hometown parade or pretty blonde waited, his fantasies were abated.
His mind full of gun shots fired, men bleeding in the trenches, his heart felt numb his soul was seized, abandoned in death's clenches.
Lonely, dehumanized, questioning his life, ne'r was he ever graced from his fear or strife.
Old, now sick, he slithers down beside a fancy car, college kids laugh as they leave a Georgetown bar.
Shameless now, bloodshot tears he stumbles to his haven, rolls up in bubble wrap, a treasure he's been saving.
Underneath this cardboard hut lies a wounded heart indeed, a US soldier who fought in 'Nam whose soul was left to bleed.