Sharp sun stings your eyes as you wake,
The biting wind is making you shake.
Fumbling through pockets of worn out rags,
Frantically searching for whiskey and fags.
Hidden within a threadbare sack,
You find a bottle and crumpled pack.
But to your horror, the bottle is dry,
In sheer desperation you start to cry.
With fingers, skinny, stiff, still shaking,
A cigarette you try making.
Finally inhaling it long and deep,
Wishing you could return to sleep.
Spurred by smoke your hazy brain,
Remembers a bottle down by a drain.
You were inspired, to make a stash,
For days like this, when you have no cash.
Lips to the bottle, tasting the bliss,
A reminder, perhaps, of an angels kiss.
Calmer now, the craving eases,
But hunger still torments and teases.
Setting you off on your daily beat,
Laughing, loudly stamping your feet.
Defying the cold, the wind won’t defeat,
You or your search for something to eat.
Its raining, as you reach the corner shop,
Coughing and wheezing you have to stop.
Anyway its time for another drink,
To focus the mind and help you to think.
How you will get a bite,
To ease the pangs you had all night.
Then you wonder are you dreaming,
As you smell coffee hot and steaming.
Shaking her head as she looks at you,
Then gives you portion of hot food too.
Are the tears in her eyes, starting to well,
Stinging rain makes it hard to tell.
She whispers, “you could change , you have a choice“,
Something familiar about her words, her voice.
You know you know her, but from where?
And before you can ask she’s no longer there.
By the crowd she has been swallowed,
So you couldn’t catch her if you followed.
Eating in a doorway to avoid the rain,
Her voice is haunting you again.
On your breakfast you nearly choke,
Because her voice and the words she spoke,
Bring back the years of love you shared,
And you realise now that she still cared.
Seeing your reflection in a window pane,
It is obvious now how totally insane,
That behaviour was driving you apart,
And causing so much pain in her heart.
With tears in her eyes the time came to part,
Yet she was willing to try a fresh start.
She said “you can change, you have a choice“,
With soft tender love in her sweet voice.
But you couldn’t see all you would lose,
As you opted instead for a life on the booze.
Breaking her heart that cold winters day,
As she whispered her love you just staggered away.
Desperate, to numb your guilt and pain,
With whiskey and fags you lie soaked in rain.
Wishing you could change, and make the choice,
To have back that love in her sweet voice.
Joe Cluxton Dec. 2006