A hole in a slum, green foliage dreams, washed people away, dogs and more dogs, where we were then – ‘built upon ancient vermin for the new upright four-limbed vermin.’
Scabies across our bodies, and no doctor painted us white for money.
That ‘dirty disease’ went, body lice died, mother did too, an unpronounceable thing for us, but doctors could spell it out.
We ate a lot of bread then; Jesus gives it to us, from heaven –
“Bread of Heaven, Bread of Heaven, feed me till I want no more, fee-ee-eed me till I want no more!”
He wasn’t listening.
Four of the smallest things in a dark room, candles took money we not; ate our money before the dark came.
Four of the smallest things in a dark room, in a bigger, darker house, rent payers to an old widowed thing.
Me, eldest, money keeper, and looking in for us always, that window tax, wanting our wages too, brothers broke the brickwork square in months of sun, letting in heat, bright, letting out stale smelling airs.
Factory owner, other men too, told ‘me’, me was ‘smartest’, told ‘me’, me was ‘loveliest’, told ‘me’, me was ‘prettiest’ and ‘cleverest’, no begging for, just giving more, so more money times for ‘me’, ‘me’ giving, getting for her family, the dark room smiled then, but sometimes other girls got it first, then, nothing talking in a family’s dark room.
Sister, baby, two brothers not babies, coughing workers, not always casket grey throaty noises, but always hot work-place, a steely, fire-flamed mission for progress, and its dust went in them, ‘my boys’.
We were goodliest family of good people, clean and eating bread and ham, and other food.
Then a wish from that old widowed thing came – ‘Boys, go now!’
I kicked that old widow, ran my family away, because we loved each other for resurrected Jesus.
Winter came, winter went, and the baby sister was with diarrhoea for two weeks, a chemist sold us snake oil, so dead and buried in the Pauper way, because Jesus wanted paid, and the factory owner wasn’t working me.
Me, and handsome brothers put a baby sister down on ropes into sanctified dirt, cried for star sign futures and rent apart.
They are tramps now, and married ‘Me’ with ‘clean’ children and Jesus still.
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