It's true that I mismanage things;
I have no one to blame but myself:
those columns of figures never did add up
because their digits, refusing to stand still,
choose to reel about and fight like dogs,
disturbing the neighbours and my peace;
they are doused in cheap cider,
incited to violence by the games
on their super-sized TVs;
ill-informed, without ambition,
lacking in proper respect.
It's true that I mismanage things.
Sometimes, I struggle to cope;
though, often, I swear, I outstare the dark
and count, on my fingers and my toes,
this week's rent, the leccy,
and the months since my last 'big shop'.
I have numbered all my blessings, too,
and counted whole flocks of scrawny sheep.
(That sleep is not a country the poor know well
the poor have always known
but it's proven now by new research
which makes us want to weep.)
It's true that I mismanage things,
not least my dreams and my hopes.
I kept them for a time but then
I sold them for a song.
September came, and uniforms;
and Christmas costs a lot;
so now let those who would tell us how
be hunger's bedtime hosts;
let them see how the odds are stacked
and let them find their peace.
© Abigail Wyatt