This is the first of two poems I’ve written recently about homelessness.
We sometimes forget how lucky we are to have a roof over our heads, how close we all are at times to being ‘down and out’ – there but for the grace and support of family or friends go many of us, I’d venture – and how health and social care, welfare and economic government policy, is leading to a terrifying increase in people being forced to the margins of society.
This poem is merely passing comment, but if you’d like to contribute to fending off the crisis in homelessness, please donate to, or volunteer with Crisis, the national charity for homeless people.
There are two
There are two:
One sits outside the off-license, she’s toothless,
often crying, always distressed;
the other sits on the opposite pavement, he stares
vacantly, intensely lost in the traffic between them.
They’ve never spoken – not once.
He, outside the closed down family florist;
her, in wholesome desperation for a drink,
shaking hands clutch at anything.
They’re always there together,
noticeably other, notably unseen.
Defiantly, not together.
Never definitely together.
She stands to a wobble, as the squad car
rolls past again. He jumps straight too –
a real crooked kind of straight –
and trails her, as she climbs off
all along their high street.
image credit: http://www.thejournal.co.uk/north-east-analysis/analysis-news/wave-young-people-sleeping-rough-8267880