Poems From a Runaway - Intercontinental

A poem about living on the streets, aged 13


My early days at Green Park, before Id found my spot,
Late-thirteen and with no coat, a thin blanket all Id got.
Id sit outside the tube station, when the older beggars had gone,
Or hustle for some train fare home, obviously a con.

One of those evenings I was sat begging, on the floor with a blanket around my legs,
When a man said to me, why are you out here? And why is it someone so young begs?
Like all I told him that I was eighteen and that Id been kicked out from my home,
He said to me come on surely, your parents would want you to phone?

He then told me that he would help, me get a place for one night,
As long as I was to phone up my folks and try and make things alright.
He then asked me to follow him and said it wasnt far,
I stay on guard when Im not sure, who some people are.

It wasnt long until we got to the place he said,
We walked into a big hotel and he brought me a bed,
He said heres the key to your room, until tomorrow you can stay,
Just promise me youll phone your folks and tell them youre OK.

So I said thanks and then agreed, that I would phone them soon,
Then he left and so I made, my way up to the room.
I walked up on the biggest staircase, I had ever seen,
And Id never seen a place before, so sparkling and clean.

Id never slept or ever been in a hotel before,
I made my way then found my room, and then opened the door.
Two massive beds, a huge TV, and a minibar,
Ill be sure to buy a room again, now I know what hotels are.

I walked into the bathroom it was the biggest I had seen,
I got myself a nice hot bath and tried to get me clean.
Its nice to sleep inside tonight, Im safe and Im not smelly,
Ill have myself a nice hot drink and watch a bit of telly.

Ill beg up the money to buy one more night, because to sleep in a bed feels nice,
But I dont know how much rooms in hotels really are, so I went down to the desk for the price.
I waited there for just a short moment, until I saw a lady arrive,
I asked her how much was the price of the room, she looked and said Its one nine five.

Nineteen pounds fifty? I went on the ask, two hundred Im sure it cant be,
One hundred and ninety-five pounds is the price sir, she said as she smiled back to me,
For a week? I replied, that seemed to make sense, at that price surely thats right,
But I soon had a shock when she said in reply, No sir thats just for one night.

To that good man I would like to say thanks, for the good deed that he did for me,
And I want to say sorry and I should have knew better, that the minibar refreshments werent free.
Cuz in hindsight I now feel bad, and I just hope it didnt hit him too hard,
Only later I knew, of what I do, and how hed get billed on his card.

I hope that trouble wasnt caused, for him that did me good,
Id turn back time and not do that, if only I could.
I was just a runaway, a teenage state of mind,
Rich or poor youve shown some heart, thank you for being kind.

Poetry written by Ben Westwood, Musician and poet. UK
Copyright Ben Westwood. 

To view all fourteen current poems from this project click here.

Follow the true story of a young teenager running away from home and the state, in a premature search for independence. In poetry.

Making choices that often only a young mind would make, Ben tells his
 story and memories of being in the social services system from eleven years old, as well as 1990s London street life, as a missing runaway sleeping rough.

From angels, predators, shocking times to heart-warming moments, Musician and now debut author Ben Westwood gives an insight into the mind of a rebellious-spirited youngster trying to find his own way in the world.

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