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LXI

July 11, 2013

From feeble fingers slip the rags—
and fall into the coal-dust mud.
A back too weak to bend moves on,
limbs shaking in the cold and rain.
I can’t go home with nothing gained,
those sunken cheeks and absent eyes—
I can’t go home with nothing gained.
A golden glow and scent of bread
reject the night—the grey and cold.
An empty bin, a yelling face,
an apple tree to lean against.
I’m going home with nothing gained
to sunken cheeks and absent eyes—
I’m going home with nothing gained.
A scuffle from inside, a blow—
“The pigs! To feed the pigs! The pigs!”—
a boy, a bruising cheek, burnt bread.
It lands under the apple tree.
Against a shrunken chest they burn
as little legs pump through the mud.
Burnt bread, good bread, new hope—new hope.
I’m going home with something gained.

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