Soap Angel

Resized Salt Spring DSC_0074I would like to share a lovely poem written by Dawn Rowan of Nova Scotia about her encounter with a homeless man 33 years ago. Dawn was inspired to send it to me after reading Dancing on a Stamp:

 My Soap Angel

I was young

In my early 20’s

Trying to navigate

The dark shadowy streets

Of a big city.

The towering skyscrapers

Blocked out

The warm safeness

Of the Sun.


It was Toronto

The 80’s

Small-town maritime girl

A little scared and

A lot overwhelmed.


I remember

One day

I walked past a homeless man.

He was pressed tightly

Into a concrete corner

Holding up his part

Of the cityscape.


He yelled out

As I passed by

Offering me

One of his carved soap angels.

He was proud of his creations.

Each tiny angel was released

From a heavily-scented bar of soap.

Or should I say “heavenly-scented”?


He gave me one.

Said I didn’t have to pay

But I did.


That little soap angel

Travelled everywhere with me

For almost 25 years.

Why I took her

I didn’t know.


But I do now.


All these years later

I see the angel revealed.

She was actually

A he.

Not carved in soap

But dressed in rags

On a cold city street.



I needed a guardian angel

that day.

I just didn’t know it.


Every life makes an impact.

Creates a ripple throughout the world.

The giver

The receiver

Often not aware.

But the Angels always are.












Soap Angel — 6 Comments

  1. Today a flood of memories came to me and I wanted to know what became of the Toronto Street Angel my daughter and I always stopped to speak with. I googled and this story came up. I cried at Dawn’s description of this street angel…it paralleled my meeting with him as he insisted his carving of archangel Michael must accompany me home. In lieu of money for his intricate work of art he asked for more soap, something my daughter and I could easily do. That soap angel has travelled with me all these years … there is something special about it and also man who carved it. On the surface, as he carved furiously, he appeared to be ranting but my daughter pointed out that he was talking specifically about our current life events – stating specifics that he would have no knowledge of and offering reassurance that the angels were with us to help us through those struggles. I am really grateful to Dawn for writing this memory and to for Garnet for sharing.

  2. Thank you everyone for your thoughtful comments….and to you Garnet, for my sharing poem, I offer my luminous gratitude 🙂

  3. Dawn..made this ‘old gal’sit and think about those words…tis true we all have something to offer and much to be thankful for.

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