It Beggars Belief How Many Homeless Teenagers Are Tramping The City Streets These Days

It was raining,
I stood under the overhang
of a ‘Charity Begins At Home’
shop window.
Watching a young girl,
who couldn’t be older
than 16, 17 or 18.
She had a black-eye,
and a manky
bandaged left wrist.
I’d previously seen her
sleeping on park benches,
also on top of cardboard
under one of the subways.
Reach her good hand
into a litter bin
and pull out
a crushed KFC box,
retrieve a half-eaten
chicken drumstick from inside,
smile in an almost
tearful happiness…
before an urban herring gull
drifted in fast, sideways,
and snatched it, expertly,
out of her shaking hand.

Paul Tristram is a widely published Welsh writer who deals in the Lowlife, Outsider, and Outlaw genres.  He wrote his first poem as a teenager following his release from the (Infamous) Borstal ‘HMP Portland’, and he has been creating Literary Terrorism ever since. Read other articles by Paul, or visit Paul's website.