The Ballad of the Government Minister, by William Wall

a minister a government minister
in a country not far
set out one night on a quest
with his armed police guard
& his trusty PR
in search of the people
the homeless people
on a pilgrimage
of grace & the press
& to do good surely
said Jonathan Corrie

& he looked on the doorsteps
of the big corporations
marble and glass
& under-floor heating
& he knew them already
he goes in by the front door
& there he found people
more or less homeless people
sure we’re sleeping in doorways
said Jonathan Corrie

they were sleeping on cardboard
soup from the Simon
a winter’s night & bitter at that
the wind dying on the river
a promise of frost
& the minister wore Crombie
kept his hands in his pockets
who could blame him
not me surely
said Jonathan Corrie

oh a young man gone
in the head
died in a doorway
of a cold night
not the same night
& not the same doorway
& people brought flowers
they that never brought flowers
the twenty odd years
he was dying
no worries but look
I could do with the Crombie
said Jonathan Corrie