Homeless in Winter

Mizzle-drenched, the day’s grey pallor wrenches hope from your shallow chest. You. A boy. Sixteen. You, shrouded in smogged and lifeless air, sodden and famished since your step-dad’s front door closed, clicked your voice to silence. Angered, he thrust you to the street’s ever open jaws. He dialled you invisible, in your mother’s absence. He’ll say you did not want to stay. Hidden under arches, by Tyne Bridge, outcast sisters and brothers gather, share hard drink and cuddle dogs for warmth. Soft curses and wet noses welcome you to your new outside home. You try to forget your magpie duvet and your mum’s burnt apple crumble.

Ceinwen E Cariad Haydon