for Nest Williams (nee)

her people

did not like my people

their bloodlines

stretching back in this place

for hundreds of years

being born living & dying

within their five mile patch

of mountains

where my kind were roamers

drifters reivers

picking up culture whatever

sucking up stuff wherever

we could

spitting out the gritty bits

that did not fit

& always always moving on

& of course they were right

I left her after such a short time

which is not to say

I did not want to stay

or that I would ever forget

we were just different kinds

oh it goes

but why oh why lord

must it take so long

born poor is a stubborn stain

lurking in the shadow on the floor

& working doesn’t come easy

when your stomach growls

ribs stick through your jacket

& the foreman always wants more

you have to get up early

beat the sun get in the lines

not looking for handouts only time

take this job then the next

leveraging up the pay more hours

always searching for better money

& who cares if it doesn’t last?

not you anybody looking in

the holes in my raincoat

the constant there to remind

poverty is a stubborn stain

lurking there outside the door

leaving its imprint on the psyche

even if the money does come in

life gets easier once more

& scrubbing out its memories

only cleans the shadow

there on the floor