Precinct: Salvation Army Man

posted in: Poems | 0

 

Sally Army Man,                    rattling a plastic can

in the doorway of an abandoned BHS branch,

believes in creation            as a real thing;

Not as dying documents     of pub-dumb facts,

but a faith foundation                    of belief in fairness

and justice, just as  the dream of Luther King

didn’t drink the dregs         from chipped cups of hate

which waste our wealth     like wages of gamblers.

Here, dignity and discipline                      are dreams lived out;

Faith and charity      fight financial forces

with soul forces,      fight fascism

with tunes and soup           and a statue’s persistence.

This resistance sticks around                   to pick up the bits

after the shouting slogans            have seeped away

like seashell sounds          on a lacklustre holiday.

With this faith, baseless, you may say;

With this faith, dangerous,           you may say;

With this faith, he   hews hope

from wobbling, cracked flags        and flicked out fags;

From verbal abuse  and addiction to booze;

From the needy nuisance  and the non-stop,

non-stop, non-stop,            non-stop, non-stop

nothing going nowhere      going nagging, going begging

going going going    gone with the wind,

Like the steam from Vapers          and greasy Greggs papers

propelled down the precinct         while he persists

like discontent and drizzle,           drinking from a dreamer’s cup.

It’s nowhere near enough,            but he gives what he’s got.

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