Yes, In Your Back Yard, Katherine.

I saw a plan for new homes this morning,

in the newspaper.


Thank God.

I thought.

Surely they’re needed.

The streets are no place for people,

but people find their place on the streets,

and homes are good.


nice, even?



Not to be NIMBYs,

but the neighbours have lost it at the very thought of it.

“Schools are too full!”

“Roads are too busy!”

“There’s no room at the doctors!”

There’s no room at the inn, apparently,

which would be funny,

because it’s almost Christmas,

but isn’t funny,

because it’s winter,

and there are people who make busy roads their home,

kids who live in broken down B&Bs,

going to school with growling stomachs,

lungs full of damp from the cramped hotel room they share with their mother,

who was running from fists that don’t care how much she just wants to live.


we have to make room at the inn.

We have to make a little sacrifice,

because it’s Christmas,

or we’re human,

whatever works,

whatever gets people off the streets,

whatever gets poor families from busted B&Bs to a real home,

whatever gets people,

real people, by the way,

somewhere secure.

You can find somewhere else to walk your dog,


You could write to your MP about expanding infrastructure,


You could accept that people other than yourself have a right to a home,


They called it “Out of sight, out of mind” in the paper.

It reminded me of home.

The estate that made me,

high up on a hill,

crouched behind trees,

with ravens in branches,

rumours of horror and crime to keep “good people” away.

We were terrifying,

I’m sure.

Most people forgot we were there,

except the postman,

who took pity on us,

and didn’t see the poor as a dirty secret.

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