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It was late at night in Melbourne Town
At the dark end of King Street,
Wendy and Joe were starting home
Unconcerned by whom they might meet.
But as they'd barely started out
On the journey homeward bound,
They saw an old man writhing as if in pain
On the dark and dirty ground.
Samaritans all of their lives they'd been
So they quickly went to help,
Without a moment's hesitancy
Without a single qualm.
But when Joe turned the old man over
Instead of being hurt or ill,
He was a vomit-stained old wino
Who had more than had his fill.
With broken bottle in his hand
Before Joe could move to stop,
He slashed across the Samaritan's head
All but cutting his face clean off.
Hearing Wendy's hysterical screaming
Other partiers came to help out,
And restrained the wino, who otherwise
Would have killed Joe without a doubt.
Then while someone called an ambulance
Joe and Wendy were helped inside,
Joe holding his cut-off face in his hands
As poor Wendy cried and cried and cried.
In a little while, the ambulance came
And Joe was taken for a ride,
Someone drove Wendy after them
Although they all thought Joe would die.
In Footscray's Western Hospital
Joe was rushed straight away inside,
And with injections and other medications
His condition was soon stabilised.
Although it was two days before the operation
When a surgeon sewed his face back on,
They had him quickly off the danger list
And all thoughts of death were gone.
Though it would take years to fully recover
Joe felt lucky that he didn't die,
And he managed to get his life in order
With Wendy, a good woman, by his side.
If there's a moral to this story
It's: be careful of whom you help,
Because first and foremost you must take care
And be certain to look after yourself.
© Copyright 2021, Philip Roberts
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
About this poem
Noy a great poem; but a true story.
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"THE DARK END OF KING STREET" Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 27 Sep. 2021. <https://www.poetry.com/poem/105431/the-dark-end-of-king-street>.