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’s currently up to his elbows in Magic, and long may it remain this way. Read other articles by Paul, or visit Paul's website.