He lies on a bench, face like a tomato
Snoring though whiskers, grey and staccato;
Friendless, he sleeps, clutching his can,
Despised at home, hardly a man.
To one side three drinkers, whispering lowly.
They’re vexed: ‘Police?’ says one slowly.
They nod and they swig; one nudges the sleeper.
He snuffles and dribbles; the nudges get harder.
The sun splashes shadows; I squint in the glare.
What brings these four men to be waiting right here?
At ten in the morning, drinking strong lager,
Numbing some pain, because being sober is harder.
Drugs, ex army, some mental disorder?
What’s pushed these four over that border?
From safety, security, a job and a home
To this. Four drinkers, together, alone.