Widow’s Dues, by Kathryn Alderman

*For Bridget

The fat cheque lands like a lardy cat hogging the doormat.
Twenty years too late to de-louse the babbies,
or rumble the glacier shoring up the scullery wall.
There’ll be coal fired tonight, like cracked black eggs,
a toast raised with the Black Stuff, for his lungs
soused in Passchendaele gas. Still. Finally.
No cheers for her pay spent like fags, Tommy-the-hero’s trauma
cured in ale, kids hid in the kahzi at his carousing
Two Lovely Black Eyes down the Brummagem back-to-backs.

For this, she left salmon silver-backing up the Moy,
Brent Geese overwintering in raw Killala Bay.
Blood money she says, her wages of war.


Kathryn Alderman is widely published online and in print, including: Amaryllis, Atrium, Bonnie’s Crew, Eye Flash Poetry Journal, Good Dadhood, I Am Not a Silent Poet, Ink, Sweat & Tears, The Canon’s Mouth and she won Canon Poets’ ‘Sonnet or Not’ Competition (2012) She co-chairs The Gloucestershire Writers’ Network

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