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Mary Williams

Not My Kid


Not my kid he isn't,

snail muck smeared under his nose;

eyes startled sideways under his fringe.


He had breakfast a long time ago.


I lift my hand to get him a drink

and he ducks;

he's long been used to ducking, running, hiding.

It's why he's here.


Not my kid, he isn't

but he's curled up near my fire,

eating my toast,

drinking my cocoa,

with my kids watching,

wanting me to let him stay.

Afraid I will let him stay.


He stays a while.


Where are the Social Services?

Where are the mothers and the fathers,

aunts and uncles; grannies? Anyone?


Timothy Winters has many brothers,

Smike is not alone.


This is a long distance call,

from somewhere in a place called England


in two thousand and fifteen

Mary Williams (writing fiction under name Valentine Williams) is a lifelong Labour supporter. Teacher, foster parent, mental health worker, market trader. Survived cancer, now 71 years old, four sons, two grandchildren, same husband she started with. Won numerous poetry prizes, published in Envoi, Dogma, Oversteps, Flarestack etc. Website

Country Boy



Homeless and parentless,

this country boy

tried living in the City

in a junkie's paradise the Social found for him.



with only his dog

standing between him

and his own destruction.



hanging on to everything he didn't have,

ditching the dreadlocks and the dog,

worked on a farm,

bringing new lambs into the world;

gassing the rats in the hen-yard.


Working out what it means to be human

in the Twenty-First Century


for under seven pounds an hour.

Poor Doors
Sheriff Stars
Black Triangle
bedroom tax
Disrupt and Upset
bedroom tax
Sheriff Stars

thistles stretch their prickly arms afar

Black Triangle
Disrupt and Upset

Militant Thistles

prickling the politics of "permanent austerity"

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