Writing Workshop Wednesday: Thanksgiving by Justin Burggraeve

Photo by Kenny Louie (Flickr)

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I would walk the streets

Night after night

soaked, cold ,wet

blistered feet

wondering where I had gone wrong.

Wasn't it just yesterday 

That I had it all.


I awakened one morning

on my usual park bench

Suddenly it was all clear as mud.


Everyday spent being tortured

by guards in segregation cell


Was a gift


Everynight spent in a rat and bug

infested SkidRow 



Was a gift.


Every night spent on a 

Park Bench, freezing


sleeping in front of Insite

to make it to the 10 a.m

Detox check in


Was a gift


Everyday in a hospital bed

wondering if it was my last

every overdose

every funeral attended






car accident



every tragedy I faced....


Was a gift


everyday spent starving

and dope sick

was an absolute gift


you know it's funny,

I don't feel the same way


the college scholarship

the 6 figure job

the condo

the trips

the women

the expensive clothes and jewelry.....

anymore anyways


"Although the world is filled with suffering,

It is also filled with the overcoming of it."


Helen Keller, deaf and blind

Put that together


Well, thank you Skidrow 

for now I have the greatest gift 

I could ever receive

the gift of knowing the meaning of life......

Humility, compassion, tolerance, understanding, and above all ....

Love for my fellow marginalized, mentally ill, addicted, homeless, and hurting brothers and sisters


I truly feel sorry for my old friends who believe in the Golden Rule: He who makes the Gold, Makes the rules.... sad, sad,sad


Thank you East Hastings,

I owe you my Life


By Justin Burggraeve

Justin participates in Megaphone's creative writing workshop at Onsite.

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