HOMELESS - a student poem

Text: Prof. B. Trögl, Nelli K. 6B

What it means to be homeless…
When covering the topic of global responsibility in English, we addressed various issues – homelessness being one of them. Nelli, a student from class 6B, wrote a poem about the struggles that homeless people face.
My eyes are wet,
I've cried too much,
Just like I did last night
And the nights before.
My stomach is hurting,
It's asking for something to eat,
But I have nothing to give.
My face is pretty
But behind my mask
I can't find a honest smile.
My grades aren't bad
Because you don't get grades
When you don't go to school anymore.
My legs are hurting
But they'll have to carry me
Until I find a place to stay.
My eyes want to rest
But they have to search for help
Before I can afford to sleep
Because I can't stay here.
My house has never been a home,
Just a place to be.
A place to fear,
A place to avoid.
My room has never been a place of privacy,
It was a room full of bad memories,
A box full of pain,
A prison in which I went mad.
My clothes aren't dirty
Because I always find a way
to keep them clean,
Because I can't let anyone see
How lost I am.
My way has no destination,
I just follow the path my feet carry me on.
I don't know where I'll be tomorrow,
I don't even know where I'll be tonight
Or where I am right now.
It's a circle of destruction,
Every day is a challenge
And I can't tell when I'll fail
Or if I'll ever win.
My parents have never been my family,
I've never had a home,
Just a place to stay.
But I didn't want to stay.
I couldn't cope with the pain.
My friends wanted to stay over at my house
And I couldn't tell them I didn't have one
So I said I wasn't allowed.
They told me to sneak out,
I agreed without mentioning
That I already was out,
Every day since I ran away.
My eyes are still tearing up
And I feel the pressure to close them,
To give them a break.
But I can't
Because this is not a place to be.
The streets are cold
And I won't lie down on them.
I am not one of those,
I keep telling myself.
I did not become homeless
Because I've never had a home.
I might not have a bed,
A fridge filled with food,
A warm place to be
And a roof above my head,
But although I've lost everything,
I've found my life.
I found the home in homeless,
And I've grown to live with the pain.
I found my freedom
In being lost.
I found safety
In the dark streets.
I found privacy
In the public life on the streets.
I could not go back
And I wouldn't want to.
I would have a house but not a home
But I need to get away from the pain
More than I need a roof above my head.
The people look at me
And think I am a drug addict.
They don't know that
That's what I ran away from.
The strangers don't see
How my soul desperately craves for a home,
How my stomach screams for food
Or how my feet are close to not carrying me
Any longer.
I end up on the couch of one of them,
Trading my soul for a place to sleep.
I throw away my morals to steal a meal
And fill my inside with something else
Than the emptiness which follows me
At all times.
It's a deal with the devil,
I am giving away myself to stay alive.
I am giving my life
To survive
And to get away from the feeling of dying,
To get away from the place where I never felt home.
I am so close to death
With every step,
With every breath,
With every day,
With every night.
And yet it makes me feel alive.