General Poetry posted January 12, 2019

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Story in a Poem

The Other Side

by kiwisteveh

When I was young, I lived across
a river swift and foaming.
Alas, three siblings had I lost,
who went a-reckless roaming.
There was a bridge, a kind of plank;
the brave would sometimes risk it,
but many fell and many sank
before they'd eat our biscuit.

My one remaining sister, Flo,
cried out, "Who shall I marry?
That bloody river swallowed Joe -
and Tom and Dick and Harry!
I fancied Robert; in he went,
and Albert followed after.
Then Phil and George, on courting bent,
but now they'll never hafter."

Me mother too was feeling blue -
supplies were hard to gather.
The butcher and the grocer too
were frightened to a lather.
They'd sometimes hurl a bag across
with mutton or a carrot,
but mostly we just dined on moss
like poets in a garret.

A starving wretch, one day I planned
to brave the brimming river.
I'd rather die, you understand,
than sigh and starve and shiver.
A boat's the thing to ease our plight,
a jolly little schooner.
I'll have it built this very night.
'Twere wise I'd done it sooner.

And so 'twas done, I made the thing,
a pretty barque and sturdy.
And as I worked, began to sing,
as sweet as any birdie.
"The Conqueror" I named my boat
and painted that upon it.
To Ma and Pa I proudly wrote
a bonny farewell sonnet.

The time was nigh, the river high
in torrents swiftly streaming.
I launched my craft and cried goodbye -
of freedom I was dreaming.
Just like a feather in the breeze,
my ship went freely whirling
amidst the tumult of the seas,
above me great waves curling.

I cursed myself, I cried aloud,
'Twas just as I was fearing.
My grand design - I'd been so proud -
had got no means of steering.
Ahead I spied the jagged rocks,
like razors sharp and vicious.
And deep inside, that voice that mocks,
"You were a tad ambitious."

Upon the reef my hopes were dashed
and as I lay there drowning,
"The Conqueror" was sadly smashed,
my parents left a-frowning.
Now up in Heaven with its views
I contemplate my labour -
and wonder why we didn't use
the bridge of Norm, our neighbour.


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