Bag Lady

They say she’s a hoarder of sorts
simply because she cherishes her past,
holding on to her precious memories
as if they were worldly possessions
slowly lugging them around in the bags
beneath her weary eyes, that never seem
to stop crying.

Her cheeks remain salt-stained
from a trail of dry tears
flowing from eyes
that have witnessed
so much pain and sorrow
and thus she dons a pair
of battered shades
shielding her eyes
not from the sun
but from the ghostly demons
that constantly haunt her
from a past life of privilege
where the streets are paved
in golden opportunities
and silver spoons.

It’s hard to believe
this Bag Lady who was
once a loving member
of a prominent family
finds herself living on the streets
of New York City
seemingly invisible
to the eyes of a society
that has long discarded her.
She is but a mere outcast
on the outside looking in.

Most days you can find her
standing in the middle of
Grand Central Station
desperately reaching
out to passers-by begging
for social change in a
polarized society that
finds her sifting through
garbage bins in search
of discarded food, a little compassion
and the life she once knew.

•  This poem is dedicated to the homeless, particularly the mentally-ill and the elderly, who are routinely abused and discarded on the streets of America’s cities by nursing homes and hospitals etc.who view them as nothing more than valueless entities within a society that refuses to see them.

Prince A. McNally is a Brooklyn-born poet, writer, and philosopher whose poetry and prose focus primarily on the human condition and social injustice; his work has appeared in the following literary magazines: TUCK Magazine, Leaves of Ink, and The Blue Mountain Review as well as the following anthologies: The World Poets Open Mic: 2016 Anthology, National Beat Poetry Festivals 10 Year Anthology: BEAT-ITUDE, and National Beat Poetry Foundation: WE ARE BEAT. Prince’s poetry has also been translated in the Italian Anthology: AMERICANS AND OTHERS by way of Camion Press, Turin Italy 2019. Just to name a few. He is currently working on his first collection of poetry. Read other articles by Prince A..