No hat for the stranger

He came soaking wet one winter night,
all his yesterdays writ well on his face,
a miracle of wounds,
the lady gave him a ‘go away’ look
and threw some coins in the snow,
he couldn’t reach down to pick them up,
he turned away into the night.

He stared half wondering at the sullen ghost of men on the buses,
on the trains, as they bargain for tomorrow’s insurance.

Every coin in the snow was an act of betrayal that night,
as he remembered, “Where the wild sweet blood of youth was shed”.

Once there were flowers left thick at nightfall,
for a good remembrance,
before the ghosts of his comrades
took him to madness on a hell bound helter-skelter,
and tram rails of doom.

“Courage was mine,”
he said to himself,
“I was a Devonshire boy”

“My head is cold tonight”.

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