Somebody's Child

from by Sam Steffen



Early one morning, the whole world fast asleep
A hobo was layin out dead in the street
Like a prayer left unanswered, a call left undailed
He was nobody’s darling, but he was somebody’s child

Had a thirst keen on whisky, but he always was blunt
Never had any money, always said so up front
What’ll it be, dad—the barkeep’d ask with a smile
“I ain’t nobody’s father—I’m just somebody’s child,”

He’d sleep on park-benches when he was down on his luck
And he’d ask for spare quarters when he was hard up
But he never liked hand-outs and he always desired
To be treated decent, like somebody’s child

With his hands on a bottle, as if in a pose
Near a mountain of garbage, he’d sat down and froze
For months he just sat there, preserved, undefiled
But even an old man’s still somebody’s child

The leaves changed their colors and the weather turned raw
And the rain fell in sheets by gravity’s law
while the snowflakes fell softly, so delicately piled
they covered the body of somebody’s child

The people walked by him, and some of them stared
Some threw out their pennies, but nobody cared
But where is there refuge for the city’s exiled?
Show me where is the person that ain’t somebody’s child?

Not a family to speak of, he didn’t have no home
Midst the crowds of the city, he was all alone
The name that the coroner wrote down and filed
In the absence of any was “somebody’s child,”

Some folks’re lucky—they’re born into it all
Some come out fighting with their backs gainst the wall
Some grow more civil, other’s just get wild
But everyone starts out bein somebody’s child.


from Ain't It a Pity?, released July 31, 2016



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