“Excuse me miss,
are you local?”
I turn with subtlety to retort. . .
“you could say that”.
I kept it short . . . I knew what was next
I sit on the bench; you know to get myself comfy
For this jack-a-nory. I already know the story. But I give him his glory.
“I’m not a beggar nor a wino, just 9 quid off you know.
This corona virus has stuffed things up kind of stopped the show…
I sell the big issue. But it’s had to stop.
Just 9 quid off from a bed at the hostel.
A safe place for me to get horizontal.
I swear miss, I’m not on the bottle!”
The thing is I don’t actually have any cash. Just a card.
Covid got me into the habit of that.
The homeless don’t do cashless.
I’m overcome with sadness.
I explain I’m not callous.
He knows as I’m mask less.
He knows that I’m no actress.
“But there is one thing that I can do . . .
I’ll say a prayer tonight for you”
He looked right at me and smiled a smile.
The words received were worth the while . . .
“Psalm 23 Miss . . . that’s my favourite! . the lord ‘IS’ my shepherd!”
“In that case my friend your company will never be bettered and your soul will never be weathered…The corona virus will not cause him fear
2-meter rule disregarded . . . he will hold you near!”
He nods at me.
I nod back.
Once again, I hear…
“I’m not a beggar nor a wino”