Just the whispers from dark doorways along the street where the night stays, cold.
When the morning treads lightly down the litter strewn pavement and the dousing of gas lamps sizzles the air
they are there,
with blank eyes, they’re watching for the chapel to open, for their saviour to appear in the guise of a beer, they are there.
And I stand along with them, the men on the edge of a reason.
If it helps and it may get them through the long day away from the whispers, away from the doorways, drink on.
But nothing here lasts as long as nothing seems to do and the day scuttles off through the emptying shadows, here everyone knows and nobody cares.
In the chapel the beer’s a panacea, a quick fix kit it for a slow death, it doesn’t take brains to unfigure out the sums.
© 2016, John Smallshaw.