Travelers Welcome

Travelers Welcome

Thursday, November 6, 2014


by Paul Tristram

It has taken the fourteen year old boy
less than six hours to realize
that these stinking, merciless streets
are in fact paved with shit not gold.
After narrowly avoiding the offers
of a warm meal, a safe place to sleep,
friendship, trust and understanding.
From the vampiric paedophile clergy
hanging around the greasy-spoon cafes
of Euston Station wearing smiling
old man faces hiding the vultures inside.
He was abruptly robbed of his last £3:50
and beaten black and blue somewhere
upon the cold, unforgiving underground
by a gang of older homeless boys.
After recovering for 20 minutes or so
in the cold recess of a Bank side door
he lucked it and managed to cadge £2
off a very nice Salvation Army lady
(who reminded him of what he thought
an Aunty should sort of look like?)
selling poppies outside of a subway.
He bought himself sausage and batter
and chips and devoured them hungrily,
even sucking the warm dampness out
of the Styrofoam tray and newspaper.
Afterwards he went over to Hyde Park
where he felt better for a little while
(even noticed his own breathing again)
until the rain fell down like retribution
soaking him completely to the very bone.
Now it’s 2 hours after dark and he’s
climbed a boundary wall and is hidden,
curled up on a doorstep at the back
of a church singing quietly to himself
the only song that he still remembers
from childhood ‘Show me the way
to go home, I’m tired and I want to go
to bed. I had a little drink about an hour
ago and it’s gone right to my head’
All the while knowing that there is no
home only survival, there is no future
only today, there is no hope for anything
wider than his next warm meal and the
cleverness needed to problem solve this.

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