The Bottom Line

Hey everyone On the day of a Tory budget which demonises the young, the poor, and the most vulnerable members of our society but gives the rich a tax cut, this poem relates the story of a young homeless woman I met on Monday night whilst waiting for my bus home.

This story illustrates all too clearly the divided dis united kingdom in which we are supposed to be better together.  George Osborne’s budget or as I prefer to call it The Bible According To Gideon, highlights the differences between the rich and the rest and believe me these are differences the Conservatives are determined to keep at all costs.

Personally I find the idea of the tax cut for the wealthy and austerity for the rest of us a damnable disgrace even if the Tories think they need one to find the money for Tarquin and Tamara’s school fees one of the cruellest jokes ever played on the people of Scotland and indeed the Greater British Isles. On finishing this poem I had about three or four potential titles going through my mind so I decided to ask one of my favourite poets Jenny Lindsay for her help on this and she selected The Bottom Line as the title for a poem which I hope you will find to be a challenging and thought provoking read

The Bottom Line

It was an earlier night than would be normally be the case
on the first Monday of the month
the regular cultural feast postponed due to renovations to our usual pub
as I waited for my bus
in the comfort of the station
I got chatting to the woman
in the seat next to mine
whilst I was thinking of words, music, raps, and rhymes
for her the bottom line
was sheltering from the rain
she didn’t complain just accepted her lot
not knowing where she would sleep that night
or any other come to that
she told me she can’t get a flat in Glasgow where she now stays
or Edinburgh where she was born and raised
In the plush south side of our capital city
growing up not far from the meadows
which she tells me is a good place to sleep in the summer
especially during the festival
when people are at their kindest and best
all she wants is a place to rest
preferably under cover from the elements
the cold can be cruellest in summer
there is a place I’ve discovered not too far away she says
If I can get in before it shuts they’ll give me a cup of coffee
and when the morning comes
I’ll get tea, toast, and the chance to shower
to freshen up before hitting the streets
begging for the right to survive.

@ Gayle Smith 2015


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