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Counting theHomeless Tonight

We’re not here to count the homes where you’ve run
We don’t even care where you come from.
We know you’re not smart because you act dumb
Under occupation we’ll just list street bum.

We can’t count all the jobs that you’ve lost
Or the homes they took away from you
When you couldn’t keep up with the cost.

There is no place to list the fingers
You lost from the frost.
You say the lucky ones sleep in a box
Someone tossed.

We are counting the homeless tonight
And if they answer each question just right
Then we’ll know if they count
By their total amount

And by counting we’ll make things all right
Just by counting we’ll make things all right

We are counting the homeless tonight

It is easier to find them in the dark
Than the light
The shelter was so crowded
They only heard us when we shouted
Be careful you don’t get caught up in that fight

The one on the corner can’t be more than fourteen
She’s worked hard for the title Miss Beauty Queen
When she closes her eyes is it ever serene?
Are we just a part of her bad dream.

We never thought to ask how much you cry
Or what happened to that child in your eyes.
We don’t know all about the people who lied
And we have no answers when you ask why.

 We are counting the homeless tonight.
It’s not up to us if it’s wrong or it’s right
There is more of them than I thought
I’ll put that in my report
I wonder if there’s an ending in sight

I don’t want to have a piece of your stale bread
I don’t have a blanket for the sidewalk
You call bed
After I go when you lay down your head
I can’t look back to see if you’re dead
I can’t look back.

 We are counting the homeless tonight
And if they answer each question just right
Then we’ll know that they count
By their total amount
And by counting we’ll make things all right
Just by counting we’ll make things all right

Copyright 1992, Sandy T. Streid

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