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Monday, 16 September 2013

No Peace

It's true that I mismanage things;
I have no one to blame but myself:
those columns of figures never did add up
because their digits, refusing to stand still,
choose to reel about and fight like dogs,
disturbing the neighbours and my peace;
they are doused in cheap cider,
incited to violence by the games
on their super-sized TVs;
ill-informed, without ambition,
lacking in proper respect.

It's true that I mismanage things.
Sometimes, I struggle to cope;
though, often, I swear, I outstare the dark
and count, on my fingers and my toes,
this week's rent, the leccy,
and the months since my last 'big shop'.
I have numbered all my blessings, too,
and counted whole flocks of scrawny sheep.
(That sleep is not a country the poor know well
the poor have always known
but it's proven now by new research
which makes uswant to weep.)

It's true that I mismanage things,
not least my dreams and my hopes.
I kept them for a time but then
I sold them for a song.
September came, and uniforms;
and Christmas costs a lot;
so now let those who would tell us how
be hunger's bedtime hosts;
let them see how the odds are stacked
and let them find their peace.

© Abigail Wyatt


  1. A brilliant - and tragic - poem, Abi. I love how you draw together the various 'truths' - the blame that is so easy for the middle-classes to apportion set against the torrid existence of struggling to make ends meet. The internal rhymes and sharp observations keep the words returning to me and led me to reread several of the articles.

  2. Gosh, thanks. I'm really glad you like it. :-)