Some People

(for Eoin)

by Rita Ann Higgins

Some people know what it’s like,

To be called a cunt in front of their children

to be short for the rent

to be short for the light

to be short for school books

to wait in Community Welfare waiting-rooms full of smoke

to wait two years to have a tooth looked at

to wait another two years to have a tooth out (the same tooth)

to be half strangled by your varicose veins, but you’re

198th on the list

to talk into a banana on a jobsearch scheme

to talk into a banana in a jobsearch dream

to be out of work

to be out of money

to be out of fashion

to be out of friends

to be in for the Vincent de Paul man

to be in space for the milk man

(sorry, mammy isn’t in today she’s gone to Mars for the weekend)

to be in Puerto Rico this week for the blanket man

to be in Puerto Rico next week for the blanket man

to be dead for the coal man

(sorry, mammy passed away in her sleep, overdose of coal in the teapot)

to be in hospital unconscious for the rent man

(St Judes ward 4th floor)

to be second-hand

to be second-class

to be no class

to be looked down on

to be walked on

to be pissed on

to be shat on

and other people don’t.

 

THROW IN THE VOWELS: new and selected poems.

(2005) Bloodaxe books: Northumberland.