There are many homeless in London,
I don’t know any of the stats and figures,
but I can tell you what I see,
every day on my walk to work and back.
There’s the two or three ladies,
close to the office. They hang around
asking random passers by for change.
Before that I’ll have passed an older man,
sitting on the pavement with a sign,
on the corner, asking for help.
A little further down the road,
near a supermarket,
there’s a lovely guy with his dog.
We often have a chat,
he sits there every afternoon.
Last week I missed him,
and felt sad for not catching up.
In the morning someone else is usually there,
a younger guy with a guitar,
often playing and singing.
Across the road
is another favorite spot.
At the back of a bus stop,
another man sits and begs,
I always say hello, we chat,
a few weeks back I ran in to him,
in another part of London.
While I continue my way home
there’s this girl I might encounter,
she asks for help with a tear in her eye
and with a stagger in her voice.
She offered to go home with me one time,
I politely declined.
Closer to home there’s this little park,
often it’s empty save for the commuters passing through,
but all the marks are there.
Empty food wrappers, empty drink containers,
sometimes a sleeping bag left behind.
The last two mornings I saw a shape,
under a flimsy blanket,
curled up behind a tree.
That’s not even it,
I haven’t told you yet,
about the guys
around the corner from my flat,
sleeping under an awning,
camping out under a bridge,
sitting in front of Sainsbury’s,
or next to the bakery.
Yet, along the road I often catch a glimpse,
of a supercar in a garage,
a top of the line Mercedes, BMW,
a Maserati or an Aston Martin.
And this makes me think,
the wealth is there,
why can’t London take better care of it’s people?