My friends tell me they can see the sea
from their window.
Closer is harder, they say; in sight is in mind.
From my window, if I wipe it,
I see the other side of the cut through,
barred windows breaking up the brick facade.
I have never seen that nest before,
broken twigs, dropped feathers.
I back away from the window.
I do not want to frighten hope.

In the deepest corner

In the deepest corner of his heart – and he had a very deep heart, as his future life would show – he found the tiniest ember of heroism. He found it and breathed softly on it and it grew and grew until it filled his heart and the flames began to dance behind his eyes and he stood up and said ‘I will. I’ll do it’. And though there was no one else there in the room in the house in the street somehow others heard from him and took heart from his courage and from that moment the tide was turned. It was not over but we knew one day it would be. And that is why we are here to remember.

Michael, Glasgow

He was sobbing. I stopped. It was minus five degrees. 

His ma had just died. She was a great wee woman who hated that her son was a junkie. It was minus five degrees. 

He sat crosslegged on the filthy thin sleeping bag on the pavement. Someone had paid for him to stay in a B&B for two nights but then the money ran out and he had to leave. He sobbed. It was minus five degrees. 

He could have a hostel bed in three nights’ time but now he was on the streets and scared to death. His ma had just died. It was minus five degrees.

She loved him but she just couldn’t cope. I held him tight as we hugged. He sobbed. It was minus five degrees.