Fallen Angel

An angel with a dirty face
Falls from heaven in disgrace
And huddles in a blanket on the floor
She doesn’t try to catch my eye
As I the stranger wanders by
Crossing the bridge to reach the furthest shore
But something stops me in my tracks
I turn and trace my footsteps back
Compelled that I should do a little more
To do a little more

I make the shrivelled cherub shiver
As I kneel before her with a
Crumpled twenty pound note in my hand
The angel no more than a child
Driven out into the wild
A thousand dreams not turned out as she’s planned.
She silently accepts my gift
If only I could lift her up
And take her back home to the promised land.
Home to the promised land

Ever since I walked her way
I think about her every day
Her innocence it taunts me
Captivates and haunts me
As angels fall from heaven every day

I was walking home from work one Christmas and crossing Pero’s Bridge in Bristol. It was dark and cold. Really cold. Not a brass monkey in sight. On the bridge  was a young girl begging, huddled up in a tatty blanket in a poor attempt to protect herself from the biting wind. She was no more than sixteen years old and had the face of an angel. Like most people I hardly gave her a second glance and walked on by. But she haunted me. Within 100 metres, I had to turn round and go back. I briefly spoke to her and gave her the money for a hostel, We live in the fifth biggest economy in the world and it’s unacceptable that people so young and vulnerable are forced to live on the street. I’ve never felt so ashamed. I cross the bridge quite often, and never seen her since. – Paul