There’s no disagreeing
that the system is broken
that dumped you, empty-handed, at my door
with nothing left but pride
you kept safely hidden from view.

I didn’t make you say aloud
how you’d worn out all your welcomes,
and run out of options.
I knew.
You didn’t have to tell me
I was your last hope.
Your story isn’t new.
There are so many others,
although that didn’t much matter
to you.

I was just a stranger
who believed there was something we could do
when no one was doing much of anything
for you.

Saying the system is broken
and there wasn’t any funding
to give you a place to be,
wasn’t going to stop me.

But you mistook compassion,
for something owed to you.
You mistook determination,
to create something from nothing,
as something we were giving out
for free.
You couldn’t see that it is was all
just string and dreams,
glued together
with sleepless nights and fretful days,
that held together this place for you
to be.
No, instead you squandered our generosity.

I tried to understand
where you were coming from,
that no one ever gave you anything before
where there wasn’t something in it for them.
I tried to comprehend
how you could just take and take.
How you could claim our compassion is fake.
How you thought it was OK
To slander our generosity.

I didn’t expect your gratitude.
I didn’t want to diminish you,
or that spark of pride in you.
I know your whole life you’ve been used,
So now you’ve become a user too.
This time,
It’s not the broken system doing it to you,
It’s you yourself
pissing on you.

At some point you have to do your part
and rise above the system we all know is broke apart.
That rendered you so incapable
of taking personal responsibility,
that you’d rather seek out
the next offer of generosity,
and this time
blame your broken life on me?

Yes the system is broken,
And it has broken you.
But it isn’t breaking me.
No regrets,
You didn’t steal my time
I gave it freely to you.
Yes, I’m a bit wiser for the wear.
But it isn’t that I couldn’t care.
It isn’t that I was never there.
It’s just that others wait in line,
and some of them
are worth my time.