Poetry Corner

Northern Poorhouse

High Level Bridge
High Level Bridge, Newcastle
Jackie Milburn picks up dog ends
on the high level bridge, beneath
the all seeing stare of Stephenson.

Joseph Swan drinks Carlsberg Export,
huddled on a pavement mattress
outside the Holy Jesus Hospital.

Bobby Charlton smokes his last
in bed, red all over his face;
no consolation goal, no-one to see.

While darling Grace saves tins
for the food bank at Sainsbury’s,
manna for wayfarers in distress.

The next great inventor of steam traction
has now given up on any further action
and works in the Sky call centre.


Harry Gallagher
From his book Northern Lights

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