Sunday, 8 August 2021



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,

united letters,

and forth,

Us stride in strife, in strike —

for we's our only ever betters.

First published in Feathers and Pennies

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