"Scrap of Life"

Somewhere in the midst of this
I thought I heard a baby cry.
I wasn't sure, I stopped to listen
But the wind that whipped my eyes
Held nothing but the sound of wind,
As empty as the cold grey night.
A quirk of solitude I guessed.
A memory from within.

The winter's bluster,
Harsh and cruel,
Drives hard through every flap and fold.
Empties the paper from a bin,
Not thinking as I pass, look in
To see a child a few hours old.

I could not comprehend the pain
That must have blurred a mothers heart,
To leave this tiny scrap of life
Without a hope unless I came
To be here walking home
Because the car broke down again.

It seemed an age before they came
To salvage this pathetic waste
And in their rush to carry out the task
To make this precious moment last,
I melded with the shadows in the rain.

I didn't sleep that night at all.
I tried to picture in my mind
How hopeless could a life become,
To tender to the rules of fate
A life so small?
Could it be hate?
My mind, as if by some command
Just simply wouldn't understand
And for that lack of insight,
I realised,
I was blessed.

I'm not a saint or angel
Sent to rescue others from their grief
But for that moment, standing
On the corner of a street,
Some other greater care than mine
Reached out to steer my careless thoughts.
Mechanically adept to place me

PB 28 March 2004


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