And The Men Kept Coming

by Nicola Daly

Long after the city stopped singing
they kept coming crawling, spitting and brawling.

Blunt faced little blokes, scented men in wigs,
hunchbacks carrying parrots, disgruntled quacks
and surgeons squeezed into suits grunting like pigs.

We jostled with rope-makers, biscuit-bakers,
mast, oar and block-makers, we let sailors
with monkeys and men with wooden legs
poke at us like the dying embers of a fire.

Long after the bells had stopped ringing
men kept on coming with their throat-cutting razors,
gin for our milk and gifts of satin and silk.