Tracking the Tramp

(From ‘The Kid’)

Bitter breeze on the back of my neck.
It’ll be a cold night out on the streets.
Northern cities are unforgiving places
for anyone without a nest.
How quickly they strip you down
thin you out, turn you into ghost
flitting between spaces
through snatches of lives,
conversations that lack solidity.

British Engines?
I guess they make British Engines.

Where will he be?
I trace his steps along walkways
over footbridges that girdle slip roads
past closed doors, through reflections
of rooftops in mirrored windows;
stranded outside when everything
is heading for an inside.
Where in hell could he be?
Wrapped in a swaddle of stray cloud
round the back of that old church
on the far side of the fly-over.

Bob Beagrie