As the sun goes down
the feral cat’s prowl,
looking for mice, searching for rats.
In the alley, bins full of out of date
and yesterday’s wrapping.
A tribute to Consumerism's detritus.
On the ground a smiling face.
Colonel Sanders blocking a stagnant drain
slowly freezing as the frost descends,
and up above the stars shine their scorn,
upstaged by the moon seeking to unveil
the city's vermin, residents of the night.
The thief fox screeches his indifference
at the stray dog, licking the remnants of last night’s kebab,
and in the shadows behind the skips,
in a cardboard den,
two eyes glare across the alley,
seeking forgiveness that is not there.
And from within this frail kingdom
a tiny light appears.
A fragment of hope, the start of a happy ending,
but no, it is a tab end fading
for the last drag has been taken
and the last can of comfort
Lies cold on an unforgiving floor empty.
And while we sit down to watch TV
to marvel at Attenborough’s view
to see the blue planet and the leopard seals kill
and "ahh" at polar bears, and gorillas in Brazil
all neatly packaged by nature’s quill.
Oblivious to the view outside
beyond the living room window
a man will not wake.
For when the dawn releases this night’s chill
His remains will be taken away,
sanitized by his black body bag
anonymous to this world.
For we do not want to know
as we did not in life.
A stain on the community
one less beggar to avoid.
But look in the mirror’s spell
and dare to 'what if'?
You lost your job and your wife had left,
your child was gone and your house taken away
your mind now broken.
Fear of humanity is but a step.
The comfort of being alone
led you down this dark alley,
the rat and the fox your allies
for they too fear man’s footsteps.
Are we less than that we see?
Are we too busy or too proud?
I see no mourners here, only indifference
Jon Doe, your maker will mourn for you
and relative’s dead will feel your pain.
And perhaps one day your community
will learn to mourn for a stranger.
For we are all strangers, when we look the other way.
May you find peace Sir,
whoever you may be?