well stocked fridge, cupboards
filled with the food I savour.
with the occasional sour or sugary treat.
a carefully budgeted combination
of economy and luxury;
money to replace every item I consume;
a little saved should my laptop break;
some to spare for my aesthetic pleasure fund
(vintage clothes for Serenity,
a finely woven throw for us both,
a fresh coat of paint in sunset shades).
every item carefully considered before buying –
assessed by both want and need.
a conscious effort to avoid waste
of food, of global energy, of space.
home obtained by default –
several applicants had turned it down on sight –
perhaps repelled by the stain on the bedroom floor,
but my homeless state forced a decision.
though living in a block of flats
surrounded by aging scandal-mongers
is not my idea of graceful living,
there are compensations to be spied through my window:
a line of trees beside the road, the sunset.
angels on the horizon generating clean electricity.
such modest way to live, you may think,
but I’m grateful for all of these gifts:
shelter, food, and nature’s entertainment.
as day cools
I watch the changeling sky put on its evening show,
then curtsey with a hint of peach before the cloudy curtain drops.
rain falls, dripping from the trees,
making a river of the road, blocking the drains.
people run for cover,
or raise their umbrellas and make a rush for home,
splashed by passing cars, by their own shoes on the pavement,
by others, heels clicking, feet kicking, caught in a similar race.
while the lost ones, those less lucky than you or I
press their bodies against shop doorways
as the damp creeps,
soaking their sleeping bags,
chilling their lonely bones.
even as I give thanks for my own
©Jane Paterson Basil