Near a park bench on a secluded route, a bouquet of flowers sits quietly. It’s partly hidden by the brush that surrounds it, and an unlit candle waits nearby. There is a sheet of paper in a plastic sleeves, held down from the wind by well-placed stones. You would think that a tombstone or more permanent marker would have been left on the spot, but once you read the poem left behind, it will make more sense.
Here a stranger slept his last sleep
Lay covered by a white sheet
Old runners peering out from beneath the still form
I wondered how he had found his way here, to this place
Wondered how long had he traveled and what paths had led him here
Wondered was he loved? Have a family that will mourn his passing?
Friends that will cry for him?
Or was he so lost that these things were long gone from him
I will light a candle for his soul and hope that his passing was gentle
I will find comfort that it was here
Where the soft breeze moves gently through the gums
Where the noisy chatter of the lorikeets fill the trees
That it was here
That he lay down to sleep his last sleep”
A homeless man passed, sleeping near the park bench. No one knew his name or where he had come from – only that he had fallen asleep, never to wake up. It wasn’t a lot, the memento they left. It wasn’t extravagant, but it was sincere. This man may not have had anyone to care for him in life, but in death, one kind soul decided that he deserved something to mark his passing. He did matter to someone, and hopefully that might bring him some sort of peace.
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