Knowing it from childhood,
I'd have assumed that everyone would know
The dangers of the bay,
The quicksands and speed of the tide,
And exercise caution.
But they -
The gangmasters of the cockle-pickers -
Knew only callousness,
The profit to be had from a coolie.
How could they ?
Leave these sad exiles to the dark,
The cold water, the wave-front racing as fast as a horse,
The mud sucking them, the wind's force?
A pointless death,
Testament to deep carelessness.
Be caught, not easily forgiven;
Their victims found, not quickly forgotten.