Dingo the Dissident

THE BLOG OF DISQUIET : Qweir Notions in the Armpit of Diogenes by DINGO the DISSIDENT binge-thinker since February 2008.
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Monday, 22 April 2013

A Thursday evening, Belfast, early 1950s

Three knocks on the door.
It's the Pig Man!
Up I jump - out to the scullery -
pick up the Pig Bucket
nearly full of potato-peelings,
cabbage-stalks, burnt toast,
sour milk, eggshells, and
the cooked tripe I refused to eat.
I hand it to the Pig Man
who goes to his cart
and empties it into an old milk-churn.
There were many things I wouldn't eat,
most of them parts of animals -
but also beetroot, tomatoes, cucumber..
I loved porridge, baked rice pudding,
semolina, toast -
but it was eggs I liked the most.

On Tuesdays it was the
Buttermilk Man who filled
the chipped-enamelled quart-jug
from the back of his little trap.
He sold the butter also.
With luck, their ponies
with their noses
sometimes in nose-bags
dangling from their halters,
would leave delicious-smelling
turds for our scabby roses.

Every fortnight "The Old Woman"
nameless in her interestingly sordid
black shawl would call, and be rewarded
with sixpence. Once or twice - a shilling.
Her old-dog smell appealed to me.
Once I gave her half a crown,
and was myself rewarded
with a 'dressing-down'.
I'm older now than she was then...

Twice a year
the Scissors Man
and knife-grinder would turn up,
the dribbles from his nose
deftly moistening his
carborundum-wheel.
I loved to watch the trickle
as he honed our worn, stained steel...

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