The Bridge 

Under The Bridge they lived
For some 8, 9, 10 years
Many of man and woman born and raised here
They lived and died here
The neighbors who walked by disengaged
And never stopped to ask,
“Why would one need to get away,
from the cold, cold rain of those winter days?”
To looking up to the lights and artfully designed raindrops
of a space in time on L and M Street in NoMa
The place they say no African American will stay.
The past-buyers are getting lighter and lighter by the day
The tall buildings beings built every day
for which the middle class live, work, and play
Looking down on that homeless man
That poor pregnant woman with a child in hand
Trying to stand up and have a home
With no father or surely not a Black man
That homeless woman living under The Bridge
Now with her LGBTQ+ friend
Always hanging around
Only the Lord knows
where they go at the wee hours of the night
A safe place to hide to stay out of sight
In the most powerful city in the world,
How can this be the reality
of some people’s day and those who pray
for the end of days?
To come out of the rain to take cover
under The Bridge of opportunities
On the other side of Grand Hotel
All story, three black apartment buildings
Standing high with experiences
and one-bedroom opportunities in the sky
For all these new people walking by
While old D.C. is left to live
under The Bridge and die
Nobody ask why are these the end of days
The CDC says let people stay in their place
There is no more cover
under The Bridge today
Concrete boulders and the city deputy mayor
Has moved people away
A new pilot program they say,
“Housing is a human right”
That will be the day
Let us pray that mommas and they
all have a place to be
And let’s come together
and work and make it today
As we know tomorrow is not promised
To anyone, as they saying goes
Homeless no more
A homecoming for a king and queen
Let the bells of heaven ring
for The Longest Night*
We spend a day in rememberance of
those who passed away
Without the dignity of a home
Not under a bridge all alone
Looking out to no opportunities
on the other side
Only those new people walking by
And praise the Lord for these people
Who give thought and wonder,
“Why are there people living under bridges
being left to die?”
And how can I?

*“The “Longest Night” refers to National Homeless Persons Memorial Day, for which vigils are held across the United States on or around the winter solstice, Dec. 21, to remember those who died while homeless the previous year. Robert Warren is a member of the People for Fairness Coalition, which organizes an annual vigil in D.C.

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