• Vol. 02
  • Chapter 11

“if any would not work neither should he eat”

Above the workhouse door
stone-carved words greet

paupers who peel up from dinghies
on shaky sea legs, wobble

across the pier, reverse
gangplank, sea to shore.

Work they do.
Work they do.

So that their someday
children’s children’s

children’s children’s
children's children can frolic

at water’s edge in bright
bathing costumes, collect

smooth stones and shells
in a pail, splash and shriek

ankle-deep in icy surf,
gasp with shock and delight.

Taste the salt of sea air
instead of sweat.