Trench Dysentery

I have been Jailed for Christmas,
drunk-rolled, and mugged,
attacked with fireworks
by a gang of hooded youths
as I lay in a dirty sleeping bag
beneath the arches of the bridge…
but Trench Dysentery is a first.
I walk the rain-soaked streets
knackered, after spending
last night stood-up against a wall
trying to get slight shelter
from the overhanging guttering.
Old trousers [two sizes too big]
fouled with bloody-diarrhoea…
and there is nothing I can do
until a Charity Shop opens
sometime after the Holidays.
If it was the warmer months
I’d have swiped a clean pair
off a clothesline, whispering
a soft prayer for forgiveness
as I climbed over garden fence.
It’s Boxing Day and I’m Beat…
ground down to the ground
… I passed-by a Street Preacher
as I hobbled ‘round puddles
freezing upon the pavements
… and he Warned me, solemnly
to ‘Repent Sinner Or Face Hell’
… “At Least It’ll Be Warm”
I answered, as I ghost-vanished
straight up-the-arsehole
… of this never-ending misery.

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.