by Betsy Stewart
Poetry, Heard/Arlington County Detention Facility/OAR writing contest, August 2021
I spent each day just searching for my purpose here in life
and still i could not find a reason to survive.
I struggled through my childhood without a loyal friend,
And every broken heart just [n]ever seemed to mend.
My parents didn’t have time to tell me they cared,
They never came to comfort me those nights when i was scared.
They told me to toughen up an’ don’t cry,
All i want to do is break down an’ just ask them why.
Soon my life fell apart,
All i wanted was there heart.
they couldn’t understand.
I turned to anything that could numb and bury all of my pain.
When my glass felt empty,
I’d fill it up again.
Over the years I drifted through many different towns.
Longing to find something to turn my life around.
I spent many nights alone, cold, hungry, and ashamed.
Desperate to find a warm place to stay.
As I lay on the concrete steps of a church to get some rest,
I felt the presence of someone gently kicking at my feet.
As i open my eyes a stranger stood and smiled.
I brought you something to drink
You’ve been sleeping for quite awhile.
He reached a sturdy hand to me an’ helped me to my feet.
I thanked him for his kindness an’ my heart began to weep.
This stranger gave me so much more than a drink to quench my thirst.
He taught me compassion and the value of self-worth.
From that day on, I grew to love those concrete steps much more.
For one day as I reached the top, I opened the door.
I held on to my tattered coat in hand and searched to find a pew.
I heard the voice of someone saying there is a seat right here for you.
For on that day my life began
an’ soon would understand
that even though i’ve made mistakes I was still worthy,
An’ this will always be my story.
This church Became my loyal friend,
the home I never knew!
I will always now have HOPE!