A few lines in the last poem sent me on a tangent, and I liked it but it didn’t fit within that particular praise-poem. So I split it into two separate hymns. This is the second, Hermes of the Homeless.
Hermes of the Homeless
by Amanda Artemisia Forrester
I offer to Hermes of the Homeless,
As often as I can.
I see Him shining in the eyes
Of the PTSD-stricken veteran in the street,
The beaten child in the shelter,
The beggar with the sign on the corner.
I offered him a few dollars, an offering to Hermes
As much as to the human being before me who needed it.
I’ve been there too,
And I remember the fear and the hunger.
I remember the eyes of the majority sliding over me,
As if I was invisible.
I remember the anger and the hostility of some
And the kindness and compassion of a small number.
“Don’t think of it as begging” He told me once,
When I was desperate and depressed,
And doubted my worth
“Think of it as testing their hospitality.”
Now the whispers at the back of my head say something different
“Pay it forward. That was you once —
Not very long ago at all.”
And I do.
It’s not much.
A few dollars here,
A little food there,
A blanket on a cold day in winter.
But I remember how much it means.
So I pray to Hermes, Protector of vagabonds,
Who watches over the homeless and the destitute,
The wanderers and the outcasts,
Keep safe all those who have nowhere to lay their heads to tonight.