Yay! It's a record breaker! A woman in Newcastle has had seventeen children taken away from her
by the social services. She's been popping them out over the last 30
years – each one a gift from her to the tax payer. She must have been almost continously pregnant for the entire time. Presumably too thick to know about birth control. Too dense to bring her kids up properly. How do we dissuade these people from breeding?
(Rod Liddle in The Sun 16th June 2016)
She's been popping them out for thirty odd years
She's out in the street, gone
and her feet are cut to ribbons.
No, she wouldn't listen.
They said put your shoes on, you'll cut your feet.
Put your coat on, you'll catch your death.
She went down the corner shop and fell through the cracks
You see, the grating was loose – all rusted away
She swam in the sewer
up half the night weaving baskets
sending them down stream
she filled seventeen baskets with a fleshy little gem
with mercury for eyes.
A scrap of ribbon for each of their toes
in case she ever saw them in the street.
The Social sit on the shore receiving the tide
assessing capacity and testing their weight.
She's been fixing and fasting
Pin-pricking the night
She sits on the bus
She puts the kettle on
She runs a bath – lets it go cold
She wakes around noon
She needs to piss.
She watches Jeremy Kyle give the result of the DNA test
The TVs too loud,
next door's kids are shrieking again
The flat's empty
The meter's down to it's last quid.
So she goes walking, circling old streets
her hands make little fists
and there is no place to set down.
They've drunk the calcium from her teeth
her smile crumples under her chin
her eyes slip deeper into her head
as the face around them swells purple
her ribs are cracked
once, twice every week.
It's Christmas and she stops at a window
The Virgin and Child in plump embrace
coloured lights warming their cheeks.
She spots a dogend on the ground,
stoops to take the gift
her bones creak
She bites down on her tongue -
the waters have broken.
It's a record breaker
and she cries out for her mother.