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January 8, 2014



‘Shufty along’ she said

in a broad, husky dialect.

So I did as she asked

out of polite respect.


She then plonked herself

down with her old tatty bags,

and with a toothless smile,

asked if I had any fags.


‘I’m afraid not’ I said,

‘I have never smoked’;

She looked the type to

thump folks, if provoked.


I felt her strong glare,

so stared straight ahead,

hoping the conversation

could now be dead.


But then I softened,

when I needed to stand,

and placed some money

into her hand.


Thinking ‘there, but for

the grace of god, go I’.

I watched her smile return,

as I bade her goodbye.


When I arrived at the office,

my tale started a debate.

Some said I was crackers,

and me did berate.


Others said she would blow it

on ciggies and wine.

My reply to most of them was,

‘so when you do that, it’s fine?


A few fell silent,

they knew who they were.

It’s not just the down and outs

who excessive habits share.


The conversation got heated,

a guy said ‘You’ll see her tomorrow’,

‘I bet she gets on the same bus.

You’ve just bought yourself sorrow’.


There’s no right and wrong answer,

to what I did, that seems clear.

We all just go with our gut feeling,

when those moments appear.





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