Editor Christopher Writes – #PoemADayForAYear: 09/06/15

Here is a poem. It is one I started last week and have finished today.

‘How much money do you have in your heart?’

I sat pondering this question on my dinner hour,

on a bench next to a billboard advert for KFC,

trying to understand what it means.

I saw it written on a piece of well-worn cardboard

being held up by the homeless man who sits outside Mothercare.

‘How much money do you have in your heart?’

I know how much I have in my wallet.

I don’t know how much I have in my account.

I’m fairly sure both amount to a half-decent

meal from the Pound Bakery.

The homeless man proffered both the sign and a

polite, well-spoken ‘Excuse me’ to every person

that walked past.

That is precisely what most people did.

Passed right on by, ignoring him.

‘How much money do you have in your heart?’

I watched every person ignore him for fifteen minutes

until one man stopped briefly.

‘How much money do you have in you heart?’

He looked at his Rolex before feigning lack of money.

‘I am not here asking for money’

said the homeless man.

‘If you have no money then you are clearly in need.’

He reached into the pocket of his hoodie

and pulled out a well-used ten pound note.

‘Get yourself some lunch and have a better day.’

There were almost sparks from the other man’s

sole-caps on the concrete as he span around,

the sun spinning off rapidly-removed Raybans.

‘Excuse me?’ The reply was spat at the homeless man.

‘Take the money. Get some food. You are in need today.

I hope one day you can help someone who is in need.’

As I finished my off-brand steak-bake,

a huge argument broke out between the two.

More accurately, indignant screaming from

the well-heeled man.

The entire high street found out exactly

how much this man earns a year,

how expensive his

car,

house,

watch,

suit are

and how much money he has in his wallet.

Enough for a very healthy lunch from Pound Bakery.

‘Fuck you tramp. I could buy you with

the money I have on me now.’

The homeless man smiled up at him warmly.

‘Maybe, but how much money do you have in your heart?’

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