Poems From a Runaway - Tonsillitis




Tonsillitis


Winters here, the cold sets in, Ive not often felt this rough.
Im sweating buckets, seeing things, I guess this is when its tough.
Cant walk no more I need some help, Im worried I might die.
But no-one comes to offer help as London passes by.

My throat is swollen, Im hot then cold, I dont know what to do.
So I make my way over the bridge, to St Thomass hospital in Waterloo.
With my fake name and date of birth, that I use yet once more.
I dont have a national insurance number, but its OK Ive been here before. 

So I wait to see, the triage nurse, to help me somehow get some care.
Theres a three hour queue, someone asleep in the loo, and an old man curled up on a chair.
I just want to close my eyes now, and stop feeling this hard shooting pain.
But I know that Ive got to try and stay awake, in case the nurse calls out my name.

The hundredth time Ive heard the door swing open, but this time to my surprise,
I then hear the nurse calling out my fake name, as I wake up and open my eyes.
I pick up my rucksack and get off my chair, and reply to the nurse hey thats me,
Im relieved Ill get help, because I cant live like this, and I dont know where else I would be.

Your glands are all swollen and your temperatures high, its tonsillitis she says.
Just get some rest and drink plenty of fluids, over the next six or so days.
Ive nowhere to go I live on the streets I say in reply with a puff.
She gives me a flyer with a Shelterline number, that she gives to all those sleeping rough.

Sometimes I would phone and find a bed for the night, until the next day the time came,
When they said lets go, to the jobcentre place, to fill out your benefit claim.
So once yet again I make an excuse, and find a way to disappear.
Ill walk down the roads until Im back in West end, because Im scared the old bill find me here.

I know that as long as I keep my neck warm, and make sure that I dont get froze,
That Ill be alright and Ill heal through the night, Ill keep covered from my head to my toes.
So I make my cocoon back at Tokyo Joes, and I just hope no-one moves me on.
But theyre used to me now and they let me stay more, cuz I make sure its clean when Im gone.

Ill drink plenty of liquids and maybe some whisky, because I was told that it warms your inside,
After just a few days Im out of the haze, and my swollen necks now not as wide.
Im back to myself Im glad that its nearly gone, felt like I was dying but now Im alive,

Still not a hundred percent, but at least Im not dead, and Im just glad that Ill survive.





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


To view all fourteen published 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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