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Bridge Sighs to Soothe City Street....

Assistant Simon Engwell, Engineer and Management Consultant, submitted an entry into the creative writing competition: “Outer Limits: Hidden Lives”, and has been published…

 

‘Good Deed Feed’ appears in the Metro - a UK free national newspaper.  All lines of this poem appearing in italics are based on found words from ‘Good Deed Feed’ from March, April and May of 2018.


  Assistant Simon Engwell

At my head, the railway bridge;

Broken white line on tarmac, my spine

A triangle of green garden at my toes.

My name is Bridge Street.

Glass shop fronts rest in shadow

As the sun rises to fill cross roads.

Cleaners hose damp freshness into air

Mixing with the smell of baked bread.

Young and old emerge from car parks

To shop for food and treats

As the sun warms pavements.

I am a busy but amenable street.

She pushes the trolley to the till.

Makes final check of shopping list.

Child wants sweets and won’t sit still.

She searches to find shortest queue;

This one has four people; it will do.

But these are the slowest four;

Others will be quicker out the door.

Child gets bored and starts to bawl.

All look as he pretends to fall.

Shopping placed on the conveyor.

Item by item clocked by blue laser.

Card twice refused; no cash to pay.

 

Debbie bought my food shopping: I had run

Out of cash. Malawian man and his daughter

Paid parking: I didn’t have any coins.

 

Light is fading to evening.

A young woman on a blanket begging

Her face is drawn and spotted.

A man, stocky frame but skinny,

Approaches, she stands.

They gather together

Their ramshackle bundle.

Down an alley she applies makeup,

In sharp stench of rotting bins.

Turning to tricks to fund a fix

That dulls the pain of a cold night.

She emerges, they walk together,

Waiting for the call.

 

Bus driver helped attacked and distressed homeless man.

Homeless man selflessly kept fallen elderly lady warm.

Charity thanks homeless man who donated all his change.

 

Sign in the window says: Private Function.

Beer foams over and prosecco bubbles.

Over the phone: ‘the party’s at The Junction.’

One girl starts to talk about her troubles;

Her brother consoles her with a cuddle.

At first, single men and women appear meek,

Tongue tied: an awkward muddle.

Drink contrives to help them speak.

Someone lightly slaps a bum, what a cheek.

She waves, starts to make an allegation.

Turns to peer at faces trying to seek…

It’s her boyfriend in conversation,

Among a crowd in a state of animation.

 

The saint who looked after me when in a very bad

And embarrassing way, I fell over when going from the pub.

I got home safe.

 

The rubbish bins are full:

Fast food trays and wrappings

Have over flowed to the floor.

A newspaper page blows down the road.

Down the empty street crawls a police car.

Pubs and bars are unlit but it’s not dark.

Street and shop lights still shine

And confused birds sing too early.

It is a warm night

But the stonework cools.

All is calm, and I sigh:

‘All will be well.’