The Image | Teen Ink

The Image

April 4, 2009
By BirdMan SILVER, St. Louis, Missouri
BirdMan SILVER, St. Louis, Missouri
7 articles 0 photos 7 comments

The rained cascades down, not in fury or rage, but a quite monotonous drum, a symphony of continuous boredom. The brackish clouds dull the sky, shrouding the city in obscure darkness. Philadelphia ’s streets were dismal and dull, the sidewalks stained black from the murky rainwater. For the water was not cleansing, far from it, rather it was repulsively filled with city trash and pollution.

On a lonely street corner was the essence of American cruelty. A raggedy old man dressed in hand-me-downs and mismatching apparel sought cover in a tattered card board box. He ravenously hauls massive spoon-fulls into his mouth as the rain continues to drone on. While down town business bustles around him he is left with no home, no hope.

People walk by and pay no attention, they ignore him, for he is the scum of society, he gives the beautiful Philadelphia a fowl name. The demanding commerce of the historic city leaves no room for the homeless; it leaves no room for poverty. Glorious Philadelphia , the home of American Liberty, the home of American legislature, the home of American justice. But where is Liberty and Justice for this man?

Under the cover of darkness and heaviness of rain I realized the irony of it. This man was happy, he refused the shelters, he refused a materialistic life. For in the simplistic beauty of his wondering rugged life style he found meaning and peace. By distancing himself from society he created a culvert, a refuge, of pure unsophisticated happiness.

The author's comments:
This is a review/story/commentary I wrote about Tom Gralish's Pulitzer Prize winning photo on the "Homeless in Philadelphia." The exact image is of homeless man named Walter. Enjoy!

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