‘A Penny For My Children’ © Joe Canning 2016. All Rights Reserved.

‘A Penny For My Children’
© Joe Canning 2016. All Rights Reserved.

It was a clear day, a good day.
All was well in the world, for some.
The gentry lazed, spoiled, eyes glazed;
from ruby wine of grapes from afar.

Methinks it was a race day.
Horse droppings lay in the lane.
My ragged friend was excited, waiting.
I shared not his optimism for alms.

Not far away, the sound of approaching hoof.
He was hungry. Fearful for his children,
Certain his pleading would not go unnoticed.
I assured him he was a fool.

“My King is a good man”! I heard him say.
“He will pass this way, and I shall bow.
He will not see his subjects fall by the wayside”.
I insulted him again with another reassurance.

I had resolved to busy myself as they passed.
I cared not to see my companion’s distress.
In a fleeting moment the carriage passed by.
My friend ran to his rejection, cap in hand.

In the distance sound of the gallop faded.
I spoke not a word for he was no king of mine.
It was a clear day, a good day.
All was well in the world, for some.

Joe Canning ‘ A look at Ireland in verse’

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