By John McGrath
Her home a run-down rig of chrome and tin,
A piebald pony, horse-box, Hiace van
Long-acre grazing and a long, hard road
From home to school, her books a heavy load.
She wears a Penney’s tracksuit, pink and loud,
Brooks neither help nor insult, strong and proud
She stands in bristled anger with no tears,
Fire in her eyes and claws to hide her fears.
A curse, a prayer, from her they seem the same,
Her gentle spirit smothered, as a flame
Fanned by a mocking, dark, December wind
Flickers and dies. She wraps her young girl’s mind
In shell as hard as roads that lie ahead
And cold as winter in a wayside shed.
©2005 John McGrath