28.03.22: Child Labour

The Breaker Boys

This is the way of it,
black dust and
gritty lungs

and spending days
bent to other minds
and other lives.

Time is an early old age,
emblazoned on their spine.

There’s a constant cough
like wild dogs
at ones throat,

and they fall to pieces,
like a stone
under a hammer.


Photo US Library of Congress, Flickr Commons, Public Domain, US National Archives “Breaker Boys at Pit #9 Pittston, PA”, circa 1911. The smallest of the boys on the left is Sam Belloma. Modern day child labour exists, (Unicef link) and it is a global disgrace. ©Misky 2022 Shared with #amwriting #apoemaday on Twitter

child labour breaker boys 1912

9 responses to “28.03.22: Child Labour”

  1. Saddest thing, it is true.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. And it’s still a huge problem around the world.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. This is so sad. Beautifully written. Every stanza is so evocative of the cruelty and sadness that child labour embodies.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Worms!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. A powerful indictment. Days bent to other minds…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Hobbo.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You are very welcome.

        Like

  4. “Time is an early old age,
    emblazoned on their spine”

    Says it all really! Poor kids old before their time. Well written piece Misky on a sad and unnecessary form of labour! 🙁

    Liked by 1 person

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