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Tuesday, January 06, 2009


by Peter Branson

Your mother smiled:
"In constant fear of debt
your grandparents."

Back there the shame
it bought bit deep
enough; twice shy
of something worse.

She'd used her 'never-never' plan
for leatherette armchairs
and cheap broadloom,
few bob a week
salting an old tobacco tin.

These days folk surf big waves
on credit cards.
The market drives:
rich get first pick, but some
will filter through;
false prophets feed closed minds.

When things go critical
down the old 'Bull an' Bear',
monopoly with loaded dice,
lives fall apart.

Cards marked, quick change of hats,
the dark ones and their acolytes,
jump ship unscathed, loot stashed
in virtual carpetbags.

Peter Branson is a creative writing tutor. Until recently he was Writer-in-residence for "All Write" run by Stoke-on-Trent Library Services. He began writing poetry seriously about five years ago and has had work published by many mainstream poetry journals, including Acumen, Ambit, Envoi, Iota, 14, Fire, The Interpreter's House, Poetry Nottingham, Red Ink and Other Poetry. In the last two years he has had success in several competitions including a first prize in The Envoi International, a second place in The Writing Magazine Open and a highly-commended in The Petra Kenney. His first collection, The Accidental Tourist, was published in May 2008.