SMOKES

London Bus Stop

It was hot,
southern hemisphere hot!
I was on the high street
leaning against a bus stop,
smoking a cigarette
and waiting for a bus.
I had just visited a client
in inadequate
council housing
living with
inadequate council care.
That always made me
blue.
Camberwell,
South-west London
was humming,
sweating,
and
busy,
a sub-culture of Africans.
Hey, we colonised them
they colonise us.
Fair play
I say.
“You got a cigarette?”
a homeless guy asks.
I tell him
“yes but I’ve given
several away already today –
give me a break man –
they’re expensive.”
“I’ll pay for it” he says, “20p?”
“NO!”
“30p?”
I think,
“DAMN IT!”
Cos I can tell that old rascal
compassion
is waking up inside me.
“Oh ok then”,
I say,
“but I don’t want your money.”
I pull out my pack
and
hand him a cigarette.
He takes one look at it
and says
“Oh no lady – no way – it’s menthol.”
He gives it back to me,
and walks away.

who knew?

Beggars CAN be choosers.

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