In The Trenches

I was sat in the park listening to Bobby,
he’s a gentleman of the street in his 60’s
who’s been sleeping rough
for over two battle-hardened decades.

“I haven’t lived this damned long
because I’m stubborn, or enjoying it…
I’ll never come back off the road now.
Jesus, I’ve willed myself to death
many a Winter’s morning at 3 and 4am
when the decent, still in the game, folk
are all wrapped up warm in real beds.
I’ve watched the same people,
come-and-go, in my corner of the city…
the colourful clothes, the swagger,
the shopping bags, the confidence…
give ‘em a decade and it’s all shot to shit.
Life takes its toll in the cruellest of ways,
the God’s are bored, or not interested.
The ‘Real World’ is a sucker-punch
straight to the foundations of the soul…
and everyone is always only a step away
from black-eyes and no sodding beer money.”

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.