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Too Much Blue

December 21, 2014

During my career in social housing, the work I loved best was helping the homeless. Sadly, domestic violence was all too often the cause. And Christmas was a bad time to be on the street with nowhere to go…

TOO MUCH BLUE

Paul Beech

Her unborn kicks as weary she rests on a frozen bench in a bleak northern town.

Seven hours have passed since she fled his fists with naught but the babe in her womb, the clothes on her back and a small knotted bundle. Seven hours of bus after bus, caring not where she went, only to pile up the miles behind her. He mustn’t find her. Must never find her.

The darkening clouds have a purple tinge, a sure sign of snow. Strangers hurry by; crows croak in a foreign tongue. Across the road, outside the Town Hall, garishly lit with coloured lights, stands a Christmas tree.

A headscarf bobs before her. A withered hand points to a door. A modest side-door with a department sign outside. Her unborn kicks. Then stiffly she rises, bundle in hand.

Too much blue, she thinks, crossing. Too much blue.

O for a splash of gold…

~~

Copyright © Paul Beech 2013

[Present version previously published on Linkedin and BLAZE Blog; original on Grandy’s Landing and Linkedin.]

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From → Poetry

8 Comments
  1. Dear Paul,

    How vivid the image of the battered woman with a child growing inside of her. The hours of uncomfortable travel, the haunting look of fear from her eyes. The silent cry for help, but do we hear it, or see it in our every day hustle and bustle? I think not. I know that some think shelters offer so little, are over crowded and not properly equipped and that might be true. To others it can be that beacon of light, warmth, a hot meal and a place of peace on a cold winters night. It brings to mind something my father said to us as children that has stayed with me over the years.

    “Stop complaining that you only have peanuts to eat and look behind you, you will see someone eating your discarded shells.”

    It has helped me to look beyond what is right in front of me. Knowing no matter how little I have, to look around me and I will find someone to share it with.

    You have brought to mind what this season is and should be all about.

    Beautifully done.

    Fond Regards,

    Patricia

    PS I hope you have a wonderful holiday season filled with love and joy. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from my house to yours. :o)

    • Dear Pat,

      Thank you so much for this.

      Your father was a wise man and I love his saying about the peanuts and the shells. There are those in dire need all the year round and what better time than Christmas to remind ourselves of this.

      Through my long years of dealing with the homeless, I was reminded daily of the old adage, “There, but for the grace of God, go I.”

      Thank goodness the domestic violence victim of my prose poem was directed to the Town Hall across the street. There, a homelessness officer would have placed her in a warm, safe refuge pending further assistance.

      Have a wonderful Christmas and New Year.

      Yours,

      Paul

      [NOTE: My remark on homelessness procedure relates to the UK.]

  2. Maureen Weldon permalink

    TOO MUCH BLUE, This beautiful and heart rending poem, all too true of so many people. Thank you Paul for making us think of people at Christmas time which we might not think of.

    from, Maureen Weldon

    • Dear Maureen,

      In ‘Too Much Blue’, I was writing from the heart and it matters to me greatly that you like it. I did my best for such women; at least I can say that…

      Thank you so much for your lovely comment, and very best wishes for the Festive Season.

      Yours,

      Paul

  3. A beautiful story that grabs at the heartstrings. Yet, how often does society think of those in that situation? Thank you Paul for writing and sharing this.
    By the way, I owe you an email.

    • Dear Lita,

      So glad you liked my prose poem. I will always be moved when I think of those poor domestic violence victims I worked with back then. Sometimes their faces come back to me in quiet moments, walking a lonely beach, perhaps, or down by the river…

      Take care and enjoy the Festive Season.

      Yours,

      Paul

      PS: Now I owe you an email!

  4. I enjoyed this. The tone of your writing is very engaging; both fictional and poetic. Wonderful!

  5. Thanks, Donna. ‘Too Much Blue’ was written from the heart as I dealt with many domestic violence victims during my career in social housing. Glad you like it.

    I much enjoy your blog too. Your poetic and prose narratives are deliciously dark and fire my imagination.

    Good luck with your writing in 2015.

    Paul

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