Friday Night Life

Daybreak over the cow field

I’m in my kitchen alone, eating pasta

Reflecting on my night.

I gave out squash, hot chocolate, biscuits, tea

And lent a listening ear, or three

Oh, there’s so much sadness in this city


Light leaks over the back of St James

The trees watch, hushed,

A lone & drunken girl stumbling home

And the pale kebab van neon glares acid at the dawn

Piercing my bewildered heart.


I, high in my angular tower

Peer down blearily at the lamps

Lighting the path of age

Student wave on student wave must

Have trodden vomit on the pavement

Nearby a cow grazes

How little changes.


Did we make a dent on these lives

Or merely stroke the water?

And will they remember when we come no longer?

God who so loved the world

Died to rescue your lambs

Do you see our efforts

And weep?


Were you there with the porters

Who are left to clean up after

Legless legion nouveau riche

And lurching girls in lycra?

The sobbing stranger, flowing mascara

Hugging scalding polystyrene to hold herself together

As she acknowledges her terror?


Of course you were there. You were in the warmth of the urn

And the smile of the volunteer

You were in my hands as I stirred the tea

And cleared away the chip trays

Wondering should we bother

I don’t know if you were ever seen in gospel leaflets

Stained and waiting, forlorn on tables

But your heart is in my chest

And you’re melting me.

Ubi caritas et amor

Deus ibi est.