Joint winners Rachael Clyne and Sara Carroll – well done both! (an offline “like” from Pollygonia who couldn’t vote online went to Belly First). The top votes went to these two poems. Well done poets!!!!
Bill, home from hospital –
only a six-week wait for benefits.
Kim, in a halfway house, hopes
she’s done with rough sleeping.
Somewhere, the local women’s refuge
has a new mother and child.
It’s a steep climb to the organ loft
to boxes marked V, F or S –
(vegetarian, family, single).
Laden with tinned & dried goods;
I head to Morrisons, for veg, fruit,
cut-price mince; bread and no fishes.
Unlike most foodbanks,
we supply a week’s worth
of breathing-space, of dignity.
I try to gloss over the shame
of twenty-first century handouts.
I deliver, but do not save.
by Rachael Clyne
People are falling through the cracks in a system not made to hold them.
The Guardian, April 2018
The day he fell through the crack he went belly first;
tumbling through dark space to land on
chicken bones, fish bones, used tea-bags,
two black pennies – enough to drop on to a church plate.
He put his hands together, called out to anybody there,
and in the silence, tried to climb out.
The sides were pillow-soft, nice,
if you wanted to sit down, watch telly, enjoy
a cup of tea and a biscuit, which he had,
but his mug was empty and before he knew it
he had fallen from a place that was not made to hold him.
by Sara Carroll