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Food Bank poem: Stain by Susan Castillo Street

This competition raises money for Nourish Food Bank. The winning poem, by public vote, has £50 sent to Nourish in the poet’s name. Voting is by “likes” and ends 12th July 2018.

nourish

Stain

After my father died, things changed.
My mother took a second job
and I looked after my young brothers.

She kept the show on the road
for three more years, but then I saw
her skin turn grey, her hair fall out.

The chemo hit her hard. She couldn’t work.
Not long thereafter, I saw a brown stain
in my pants. The food bank gave us things to eat,

but when that time came once a month,
I sorted things as best I could:

…………with cut-up towels
…………paper napkins when we had them
…………even Father’s rolled-up socks.

The worst was when one day at school
the blood seeped through my skirt
and the boys laughed at me:

………..someone’s been stabbed
………..in the arse
………..is going to bleed to death
………..girls are muck

bleeding to death is how it felt.

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