Poem by Karen Ankers Meeting at Euston.

Meeting at Euston

a girl with city faded eyes

excuses her request for a pound

says she’s never been on the streets before

tells me in a worn tobacco coated voice

she needs the money for a bus


as if I need a reason to be kind


the coin in my hand is bright

as she once was

has unquestioned value

as she once did

perhaps

when her eyes and soul still shone

before promises and practised lies

took her light as deposit

on oxygen and pavement space


the metal that slides from my palm to hers

courts the sun

just for a second fairytale gold

illuminates the touch of our hands

and in that moment more is passed

than money

skin meets soul remembered skin

blood beats between us

each strengthening the other

in the time it would have taken

to turn and cross the road