for the striking Matchgirls
These given takers, Us taken givers.
Us nithering arms with shift alarms,
from shafters, fruitless flee.
These frame the smog with hat and rod,
and want us criminal be.
These corn cross dish to comfort mug,
Us mafficking sods in capital fog,
Us Monday mice, smoggy cogs of ditch
and chapel, duff and scratching toil.
These dainty doyles of telegraph fat,
shaved nape and plumb, curtsey
spend their surname spoils.
These division suiters, ledger scratch
with gimlet eye, toast peaks,
ink troughs with foul dispatches of
Us crumb condemned to exhaust and
quell in Standard daily rackets.
Us sallow grudge and sorrow trudge, but,
Us throng know where the meat is from.
Us dandelion nippers, burden sellers
of common blend, will smirk our end
in her pride’s eye, in suffer shirts, ‘till
wooded jackets with save-stitched bright,
Us stride in strife, in strike —
for we's our only ever betters.
First published in Feathers and Pennies