Patrick House

I peel away the layers until I find the seed
of what it is I think I want and what it is I need.

I meet someone for coffee; he is kind and erudite    
He says his friends have saved him from the constant need to fight    
for the things that people say they need to make them feel alive.

I meet someone for coffee and he tells me his address    
he asks if I will go there as he feels I’ll be impressed.

The hostel is a house I think but can you call it home?    
So many rules and expectations, some still prefer to roam.

The help is out there all the politicians say
you have to toe the line of course or
you’ll be on your way.    
you pay us from your benefits, we’ll help you get a job
we’ll find out what your needs are and keep our fingers crossed    
that there’s money left in the dwindling pot
but you’re on your own if we find there’s not. 

there are so many people broken by their lives
that the carers’ role seems hopeless in helping them survive.

But there is such a willingness to share the story of their past    
to explain the addict’s desperate need  and the hope it ends at last.     
I met someone for coffee and now I know his name    
he’s a writer and a poet so aren’t we just the same?

A research project on homeless in my city led to a meeting with a hostel resident.

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