A long storoem about two ways a life could turn out.
|The homeless man had lived a hard life.
Imprisoned for killing his cruel step-dad,
once released he had known only strife.
His future was ruined as a teenaged lad.
His father had died; his mother remarried.
The man was a mean drunk, who beat
his poor wife while his baby she carried.
Into his closet, the small boy would retreat.
He suffered in fear for years until a teen.
Then one night he brought his best girl
home to meet Mom. It was an ugly scene
they saw, one that would change his world.
His step-dad was beating his mom again.
The boy grabbed a poker off the fireplace,
struck the brute in the head once and then
twice more, before Mom he did embrace.
His step-dad died; the teen was jailed and tried.
The five years spent in prison was only the start.
No education, an ex-con, wherever he applied
for a job denied him work. Finally, he lost heart.
He took to drugs and drink for solace one day.
That day was when he completely lost his way.
Soon he was broke, dirty, with no place to stay.
He’d become another big-city homeless stray.
For fifteen years or so he tread this sorry path.
One day four teenage boys were out for fun,
beating the homeless with a bat. The aftermath
saw the man unconscious when they were done.
Found by police, taken to a hospital charity ward,
the man lay in a coma for days. He has a dream
in which an angel carries him back in time toward
his fateful day. Then they stop. The people seem
so real, the scene so alive. He and his girl arrive,
find his step-dad beating his mom. He does seize
the poker as before … but he proceeds to drive
his step-dad back by hitting him at the knees.
In his dream the angel forces the drunk to leave.
The outcome is greatly changed; no one dies.
The pure joy the man feels is hard to conceive.
Hearing a voice, to awaken he now tries and tries.
He opens his eyes to see a private room filled
with flowers and cards. At the side of his bed
is his best girl now grown. She is so thrilled
at seeing him awake. He knows they were wed.
Memories come flooding into his confused mind --
graduations, their marriage, three children born,
a business started, much success – these unwind
to reveal his past life, now different and reborn.
“Welcome back, dear. Everyone’s been worried
about you. You were injured while being mugged,”
his wife says. He realizes his miseries have scurried
away, as by his wife he’s lovingly kissed and hugged.
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