This is the second 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.
A shameful stride
I got dazed by the view of hundreds of homeless hearts
chests exposed and greasy blankets folded
When the haze dispersed I saw lines of sorry eyes
“god bless” a refrain of desperate slumping civilisation
My path curved around the sad hole I saw they’d fallen into
their caustic heavenward glare sodden deep with tears
my stomach contents overthrown by a guilty spare change jangle;
my feet root in concrete, my hand reaches out with sparing pennies.
with a mumbled “good luck” wish, a silent non-breath;
so as not to accidentally touch dirty palms.
away, along, on, albeit lighter in the pocket;
as I don’t shake that feeling of not doing more.