At 5 in the Morning

5am and fast asleep.

The doorbell rings …

The rough-sleeping man, tall and bearded, is back in town.

He’s hoping for coffee.

Possibly he is hoping for money, but I think he believes me when I say I don’t keep cash around – it’s true.

I give him two cartons of chocolate Get-Up And Go milk drink, two packs of breakfast biscuits, and a pair of socks.

Year after year he is back.

He says that he has been going through rough times – and I am sure he has. But it is his life – his career … I think now that he actually likes rough times. Spare him a prayer.

But “Lead me not into temptation” – keep your doors locked, lest you get him into trouble.

No chorus yet – just a distant pair of carolling magpies, black and white in a monotone pre-dawn.

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