A Penny For The Guy

Hey everyone Of all my Halloween poems, this one , written in 2009 is my personal favourite. Based on real life events of that Halloween involving four teenage girls and a homeless man. I hope it’s a poem which shows my Glasgow at its best, illustrating the warmth and humanity of a younger generation who in my opinion are often  maligned by those who should know better. You know, i sometimes think of those of young girls and i hope they have done well and went on to or even graduated from university and i hope the homeless man is not only still alive but has a home or at least a place he can call home and isn’t a victim of the post Thatcher free  market consensus. I have titled the poem A Penny For The Guy, i hope you find a thought provoking but heartwarming read.

A Penny For The Guy

As fireworks light up the sky creating a rainbow of colour
I see a homeless man as i walk on my road to the shops
the world never stops to allow people
time to consider their thoughts and actions
recklessly taken without thinking
continuing my journey I see under 16’s
smoking, drinking,  laughing, having a good time
I don’t judge it’s not my place
one of the girls compliments my dress
I’m all dolled up, going to see a play
which  even in these enlightened days
will challenge myths and preconceptions
I tell her this, she seems interested
her friends gather round listening to my words
I refuse to patronise them
with pep talks on the birds and the bees
On this all hallows eve, one asks if i’m going out for Halloween
I say i’ll be clubbing later, but my costume’s in the bag
I’m going as a hooker, a working girl
call it what you like a prostitute is a prostitute in any language
I sweep nothing under the carpet it’s not who i am
in this life i say to them you have to be yourself
No matter the opinions of others
workmates, neighbours, brothers.
you were given this chance for a reason
to do the best you can and be the best can be
when  I tell them i’m transsexual
they smile, high five me, hug me
make no attempt to mug me
tell me to embrace my dream
enjoy being a woman
live my life with dignity and style
give me one last smile as they wished me well
at this, i disappeared in to the night
and they went back to the dancing
searching for potential potential Prince Charming’s
hoping not to find something from a horror movie
and believe me there were plenty of horrors to be seen
in the city centre
as i ventured towards my destination
I saw the homeless man
I had seen at the start of my journey
so i stopped and spared a penny for the guy

@  Gayle Smith 2009


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