The Nowhere

by Erwin Fernandez
Wild Poetry Forum
Third Place, February 2019
Judged by Ruth Bavetta


They occupy the spaces in between:
gaps of underpasses, beneath bridges,
broken fences, derelict homes: human mortar
filling spaces that others cannot, would not

dare to occupy. Their untethered existence
depends on the day to day, a passerby’s coin,
fast food leftovers, dumpster delicacies. One
step from invisible to non-existent. The world

moves around them like they had no mass,
or were on a different dimension altogether. When
they do encroach with a palm or rusted pan,
the world stares blankly at their touch screens.

We walk on telling ourselves it’s the system
not us, never us, it’s on social services. But one
slip and who knows where we land? When it’s
our hand outstretched, it’s time to get personal.


This poem boldly wades into one of the most difficult problems of our times, the hordes of homeless and impoverished, a segment of the population which lives not with us, but alongside us in a parallel existence. The best lines here are comment: “The occupy the spaces in between…” “One step from invisible to nonexistent.” --Ruth Bavetta

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