BETTER TIMES THAN THIS

A poem about a day in the life of a homeless man, from their perspective

I wake up                                                                                                                                             from underneath my quilt                                                                                                             made up of cardboard boxes                                                                                                           And opposite the locksmiths                                                                                                           where I’ve just lifted my head                                                                                                             are two town foxes                                                                                                                   Hovering over the wasted food                                                                                                     that’s escaped the overflowing bins

Then suddenly                                                                                                                                    with voracious zeal                                                                                                                              my breakfast, lunch and evening meal                                                                                         have been devoured by these pests

So now I have to move to a different street and beg                                                                     Or otherwise today I won’t be fed

And as I sit on the pavement                                                                                                                 I swallow my pride                                                                                                                                   and ask people walking by                                                                                                                    if they don’t mind                                                                                                                                     if they could spare me                                                                                                                      some of their change                                                                                                                           But some look at me                                                                                                                              as though I’m deranged

And some look at me with intense fury                                                                                             & think they have the right to be my judge and jury                                                                      as they are working and I’m unemployed                                                                                      but inside I’m hurting and deeply annoyed                                                                                        As I didn’t ask for this                                                                                                                              yet in their minds                                                                                                                      invective overtakes analysis

They call me a tramp                                                                                                                        Think I refuse to get a job                                                                                                                  and rather be on the dole                                                                                                                That what money I do have                                                                                                                  I’ll be spend on drugs and alcohol                                                                                               When the reality is very different

Had a job I loved but was made redundant                                                                                  Lost home as my landlord wanted to sell up                                                                               Wife had an affair, left me and took the kids                                                                               Now everyday I’m forced to search refuge skips                                                                            for the food I need to keep going                                                                                                     And everyday I wake up not knowing                                                                                            how the day will pan out

Now darkness had fallen and the cold air bites                                                                                I’m in a park looking for a bed for the night                                                                                 And a few feet away I see a park bench                                                                                      That’s suitable for me to rest my weary head

And just before I sleep under the night sky                                                                                       I think about what my life used to be like                                                                                      And how I had everything I wanted and more                                                                           Now look at the misery I have to endure

Sore feet, torn coat and grubby nails                                                                                           Showcase the path I now always trail                                                                                       Twelve months ago I was living in domestic bliss                                                                          So how has my life been reduced to this?

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One Response to BETTER TIMES THAN THIS

  1. Grumbling Gargoyle says:

    An insightful reflection on how easy we judge and label those whose lives we know absolutely nothing about yet never endeavour to enquire!…..Good poem Chris, bringing to the fore, once again, man’s ignorance and mistreatment of his fellow man…

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