We Slept Here


We slept here
on Waverley Bridge
under the shadow of a granite ridge

Next to the only station
named for a novel –
our open-air waiting room, no place to travel
Just along from the Spoons and the bars
by the pools of piss and broken jars
under the sober moon and stars
They swept beer.
A gull crept near.
We slept here.
Did we miss the last train home
and, too pissed and short of means,
hump our swag, dump our bags and
slump here until the next day’s first
Took us back with a hangover 
and a funny tale to tell?
Remember the time …?
The smell and the grime …?
We schlepped our gear
on this windswept pier.
Folk stepped clear.
We slept here.
Or was it the latest in 
a long line of one-night stays 
Stairwells, doorways, 
tram stops, unpacked boxes,
storm-snarled ports, last resorts?
Run away, kicked out,
evicted, afflicted,
repossessed, unwelcome guest
Or we’d rather sleep here than spend
even one more night at ‘home’?
Rent arrears.
Left in fear.
We slept here.
He wept tears.
She kept near.
We slept here.



Photo: ‘We Slept Here’ spray-painted on Waverley Bridge, Edinburgh, July 2021


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