Being Seen

makes someone become a person. The storyline true,
the only one written at Christmas (2020). Pic: my own


Approaching home,
this doorway bundle,
like Hardy’s ‘darkling thrush’,
sang for all she was worth,
a plaintive east-European song,
seducing the ear of all who appeared
through the veiling snow,
and, in a cashless society,
gratefully nodded,
when, along with pocket-fluff,
small coins dunked in her cup.

“Singing beautifully now, with no
woeful placard?”

New rules, she explained,
meant only street musicians

legally begged.

Charming us all,
this anomaly, person to voice,
angelic and erudite
crouching there so scrawny,
among litter and dust.

At the turnoff to my lane,
a familiar rotund soul
shuffled nearer with over-long poles,
‘little Miss Muffet’, her shameful label.

Born in wealth, in finest crib sheets;
first inhalation fatefully delayed,
abandoned now to group care,
clothed cheaply, blue rucksack,
pink boots, as, ‘quality not appreciated,
is money wasted!’

“Enjoying an invigorating winter hike?”

A reflex yes, or was there more,
for, looking shyly downwards,
she escaped awkwardly onwards,
out of step, with unruly sticks…
with Life’s pitiless pace.

These past days,
not much more’s been said.

But, in these contrast of fates,
singing seems tonally warmer,
walking…more sprightly measured.

Imagined or not,
it does me good, thinking,
not so much about the unburdening effect
of seeing two less fortunate,
but rather knowing,
they’ve seen me, seeing them.


Merry Christmas to all!



© Gothicman 2023
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