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"A man like you, that likes his bread..."
I turned and waited for the rest
but nothing came. I think I said
"Sorry?", but he had done his best.
Flinching, he turned his face away instead.

Perhaps he couldn't try again,
finding some flicker of distaste
at his appearance, or disdain
hover in my unguarded face
denying both his presence and his pain.

He stood and fidgeted until,
embarrassed by his stammered sound
and by the broken silence still
resounding in his ears, he downed
his dregs and shambled out on Ludgate Hill.

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