Chain Gang

‘It wasn’t meant to be like this’ she thought
Raging at the injustice sent her way
‘I worked hard, worked long, worked all the damned hours
These office workers have no clue, walk past,
I deserve all I get, that’s what they think’

It only takes a moment to connect
Minuscule moments, a sliver of time
To open your heart, reach souls of others
Be the human in humanity, now
Don’t waste the opportunity – give joy.


Chain Gang


This week on dVerse Meeting the Bar, our bar-keep Tony is taking us back to basics, with blank verse. Don’t worry about rhyming, don’t worry about anything except going with the flow! 

Today’s offering from me is based on the lady that sells the Big Issue on my way to work – she always has a ready smile, a cheery face and never looks miserable. She’s studying at college, trying to make her way in life – but I wonder if she sometimes wishes she could change places with the people who stride past her, most of whom probably don’t even notice her, or look down on her. I admire her commitment.

I hope you enjoy my offering – and do take the time to read the other blank verses on dVerse.

37 thoughts on “Chain Gang

  1. So true that it doesn’t take much time to connect with someone, just a simple smile or a nod of acknowledgement will do sometime. We are all too much in a hurry (or maybe too self-centered) to pay attention to those in our midst….and give a bit of joy!

  2. the other day I was at a business dinner and while we dined a young lady played guitar and sang very well against the roar of the crowd. I left her a 20 – great heart deserves a reward.

  3. I often wonder about the people we see on the streets, their past or present history and often think it must be awful to feel invisible to people who lead a more regular life. It is indeed easy to smile and say hello, acknowledge that they exist.

  4. smiles…i def have heart…and for many it is circumstances beyond their control that bring them to this point…some may be of their own doing…but is it right that so many just walk passed and that we feel no ownership of our humanity beyond the circle of our own life….

    1. Oh yes, there but for the grace of… Life is full of uncontrollable events, so we should definitely feel grateful for what we have. Today, I was pleased to see a City gent in a suit talking to her – that made me smile.

  5. It’s amazing how much something simple like a smile can make someone else’s day. Even if we don’t have time to stop, a smile or a kind word is certainly never too much to give!

  6. A smile, a word, even – if appropriate – a touch are all cost-free to the giver, but can mean so much to the recipient. How sad that we are so busy with doing that we forget to be human.

  7. This is excellent Freya, I so agree we live in many cases in a friendless world, where neighbours can often be strangers. I know the people you have written of, I have seen them in the major cities, maybe I should be kinder to them in future instead of wandering past. Well done today.

  8. Apathy is bred in the rat’s maze of big cities, but in small Norman Rockwell towns, like the one I live in, this lady would be already known by some, her back story not a mystery; tis the pace, stress, crime, & danger of crushing too many souls into the shoebox that leads to the stone hearts, the blind eyes; very nice poem.

    1. Yes, I’ve lived in large cities and small villages – there is definitely a difference. There is a tipping point beyond which person A thinks ‘someone else’ is looking after person B. However, it doesn’t take much to break that cycle – I’ve been there too! Thank you, Glenn.

  9. An honest living of whatever way is always to be lauded. More so when there is a sense of purpose. More often than not it is a survival. Nicely thought Freya!


  10. Enjoyed this poem and all the comments. The only control we really have in changing things is in our own behaviour.To give joy to someone else through kindness or even a small gesture like a smile is the best reason for staying alive.

    1. We certainly can’t make others behave differently – although as a species, we do tend to forget that… Yes, spreading happiness really is a worthwhile habit to get into, I think. Thank you, Cressida.

  11. this really speaks to me….and I can tell this was written from the heart…beautiful dedication!

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