Photography © Chad Parenteau



Without warning
I’m now alone
yearning for past lives.

I live outside
flimsy old tent
hard wet sidewalk
coveted space
among hundreds
of lost souls.

Scrounging for a place
to lay my head
in a cold city
with my broken life
during a pandemic.

I search for scraps
food and warmth
now scarce.
I relieve myself
behind a bush
underneath an overpass.

Hoping for
a private moment
amid constant
open exposure.

Another day fantasizing
under cloudy skies.
Love, warmth
caring family,
now only empty words.

I’m a survivor
misplaced in time.


Marsha Johansen lives in Albuquerque, NM and holds a Bachelors in Business Management.
Her collection of poems called Around the Edges was published in 2018. Both her prose and poems appear in The New York Times Magazine, DailyDrunk,, SadGirls Club and the Fixed & Free Poetry Anthology.

Chad Parenteau is Associate Editor of Oddball Magazine.