No Manna to Treat a Lady

Scuse me mate,

Yes, you right there,

Can you spare a quid?

It’s for a bit of bread, I ask no more.

You there –

Looking without seeing,

Wondering if my misfortune is all my doing

Or really should belong to someone else.

You: appalled by my dirty clothes,

Matted hair and rotten shoes,

Can you spare a coin or two?

It’s for a slice of bread, nothing more.

What more do I need

Than water and bread?

I don’t need a shelter, why so?

Either warm clothes, to go where?,

Either a meal, to seat where?

I don’t need words pointing my mistakes.

Why should I?

I am part of the streets,

Just another piece of empty dirty space

For you to toss your rubbish in,

You turn your eyes away…

Is that all I mean to you?

Someone without self-esteem?

Just another lazy loser, choosing the streets,

Expecting free handouts from those who work?

I once had dreams; I was someone daughter,

Living in a house, sleeping on a bed, had a job.

Now, I am here, asking you for help.

My numbness is a defence from your indifference,

My lost eyes, an accusation,

By looking the other way

You steal my pride, my meaning.

Your contempt takes everything from me.

Now, I am here, asking you

For a slice of bread, nothing more.

Not to live, but survive, and surviving

I am showing you what you have done,

What your silence has implied,

It’s too late for me, though not for you,

Please, give me a slice of bread, just a crust

To make me last till ‘dust to dust’…

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