Leonie from St Andrew’s Hospital Ipswich organised a blanket drive for her local Rosies branch named after ‘Shoeshine Brian’, a homeless person she met and sat with in Sydney a couple of years ago. Brian refused to beg, instead he would polish shoes and share stories with his customers. Leonie sat with Brian for a while. He touched her soul and inspired her to write the poem below, in his memory. Brian passed away last year.
The blanket drive named after Brian was a huge success and brought many donations to our friends on the street in Ipswich. Thank you Leonie and the community at St Andrew’s Ipswich Hospital.
Hey, I’m Brian…do you see me?
I’ll shine your shoes for you,
I’ll tell a story too…
Can you fling me a few cents to make my day?
Hey, I’m Brian…I was a child once.
Nobody wanted my brothers or myself.
We were kind of put out on the shelf…
How come we didn’t even get a say?
Hey, I’m Brian…I’m down here.
Sitting cold here on the floor
while you just shop for more…
Will you go back to your house upon the bay?
Hey, I’m Brian…I know I have a soul.
If you look, it’s with distaste
as though I’m some kind of waste…
If you sit with me I won’t make you stay.
Hey, I’m Brian…
© Leonie Cavenagh