Wednesday, 19 September 2018


“I’m really sorry to trouble you
I never thought I’d sink this low
But I’ve just got out of hospital
And I’ve got no place to go.”

“I’m really sorry to trouble you
I’ve never done this before
But I’ve got no money,
I’m sleeping on a garage floor.”

“I’m really sorry to trouble you,”
As he edged towards my side.
“I’m recovering from Sepsis.
Honestly, I could have died.”

“I got out of hospital
And went back to my flat
But the landlord had changed the locks
That was the end of that.”

“I lost my job, see,
Because I was ill.
I couldn’t pay the rent,
I couldn’t pay the bills.”

“The landlady at my local
Let me sleep behind the pub
She brings me cups of tea
And sometimes even grub.”

We’re standing in a down pour
Outside a no-frills store
I usher him to shelter
Beside the open door.

He pulls at his trackies
To reveal a bare and skinny hip.
“I’ve got nothing, not even boxers.”
I bit my trembling lip.

A bloke drove up to the bollards
And beckoned with a shout
“Here you go, mate.
A couple of quid to help you out.”

He talked of going to a hostel
I doubt he ever did
But I fumbled with my purse
and pulled out twenty quid.

“Thank you so much miss
So grateful for what you’ve done”
Said the man without boxers
No older than my son.

© Sally Wheatman

Homeless man spray-painted by yobs found dead just days later in graveyard

Sally Wheatman has three adult children and lives in Sale with her husband. She is a trained journalist but now runs a PR company. In her spare time she rides her Irish Sport horse, Hobson, and digs her allotment.