Tuesday, 03 December 2019 19:34

The election: Free for All

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in Poetry
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The election: Free for All

Free for All                                               

IM of Doll Warner

by Sally Flint

Before she turned ten they called her
Little Mother. The oldest of eleven siblings,

she knew about ailments – how to attach
string tight to a doorknob and extract a tooth.

She could tempt a TB victim with broth and starve
a fever. She knew diphtheria meant death,

that few people had money for medicine,
or a midwife. She’d race to a stranger’s house and boil

water, prepare rags and, often in the dark hours,
persuade a doctor to help for free. For years

she witnessed birth and rigor mortis, saved pennies
to put on dead children’s lids. If she was still alive she’d hunt

down her prayer book, find God and scream to Bevan:
Quick! Someone! Save the Nation’s Health.

Read 271 times Last modified on Monday, 09 December 2019 22:16
Sally Flint

Sally Flint lectures in creative writing and co-edits Riptide Journal at the University of Exeter, and is a tutor with The Poetry School.