Cowboy toast

about 8 or nine

coming home from school

hungry as any hollow legged boy

looking to eat quick as can be

tonight she’d say is a special

I’ve got cowboy toast

place the plate in front of me

a strawberry jam sandwich toasted

& later years I’d find out

this was the old mans leftovers

from his work lunchbox

but back then I’d wolf that down

& be wanting needing more

in better times

there was an egg & chips

with bread & butter to fill

thick broth soup as the vegetables

& in the other room

where this gets all Cinderella

she’d be eating her steak pie

with strawberries as her treat

& if I ever argued about that

or she could find a way

I’d be sent off to my room

with no supper

as soon as I stepped through the door

& the only thing to do with this

is to ensure you do better with your kids

forgive them that forced their poverty on you

if not money

in the spirit

draw the line clear & say

after this

no more

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