I have been sitting here for hours. It is so cold I can feel the concrete through my thin blanket and my feet are completely lost to any sensation. I have a sign telling people I am homeless, found the pen in a chip shop and the card is a piece from a box left out in the rain. I have given up looking at the eyes of the shoppers: I feel so ashamed, so ashamed to be begging when others are out shopping for their loved ones. Mine are at home: I had to run away after my father walked out and my step father moved in. I can't bear the arguments, the shouting and the tears. I had to walk out, had to find my own way.
And here it is on a cold street in the middle of London. So much for gold paved in the streets of the capital. There is nothing here, nothing but rushed parents looking for their last minute gifts. When I see the huge bags they are walking past with, the packages piled in their arms, and the cars stuffed full, I have to wonder. Joseph and Mary were homeless too, weren't they and she was pregnant. That must have been awful, but no friendly inn keeper here.
But then a friend, a woman with three smiling children stops, holds my shoulder and wishes me Merry Christmas with a gift of a note. She doesn't ask me if I smoke, if I drink but gives the money freely and lovingly. I see that she has her own pain, her own troubles but there are tears in her eyes and I bless her for her compassion.
A star after all,