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Looking  forward sideways

Nobody had the time it seemed
As they strode purposefully by
Usually with averted gaze
So as not to meet my eye.
I could smell the booze on his breath,
On his body, his clothes his hair.
He seemed to ooze boozy sweat
But he didn't seem to care
As we sat on that street bench
On a cold December day
Amongst the thronging shoppers,
Christmas just hours way.

And he did that stupid survey,
Ironically about drink,
Just answering way,
Never pausing to think,
Apart from the two occasions
He had to run off for a pee
But each time he returned
And sort of kept faith with me.
A life to me full of despair
Ruled by the Offy's special offers
For his daily beer ration
To eke out his restricted coffers.

And he thanked for my interest
And for listening to what he had to say
And he shook my hand carefully
Then wandered off to face his day.
I found him a little inspiring really;
No whinging or complaining, just carrying on.
I wondered how much longer it would be
Before this quiet dignity was gone,
Knowing so easily that could have been me
But for the love and care of my wife,
So I shut down my computer
To go home and get on with my life.

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