Social Study

I read this at school – it must have been around 1970 – and have never forgotten it. The poem – called Social Studies is by Michael Baldwin:

While my mother ate her heart out,
and my father chewed the chairs,
my sister worked in a factory,
calmly degutting pears.

The green ones like spinach,
The yellow ones like sick,
she gently disemboweled them
with a deft little flick.

She never seemed to worry,
about the family fears,
but thoughts, like bees, were buzzing
inside her golden ears.

She jilted the tin carpenter,
and then the labourer’s mate,
and finally she married,
the man who nails the crate.

She had two lovely children
called Dorothy, and Clem.
They’re hanging her tomorrow,
for calmly degutting them.

Social Study