Poetry

Andy Kissane: Two Poems

Match Girls, 1888   She holds the frame and dips each pair of sticks into the yellow paste that will catch and burn in the darkest London night—a luminous ribbon, Lucifer’s finger. When dry, her sister cuts the matchsticks with a knife and stacks them into boxes. The phosphorus is safe, the foreman said, they need not fear. Yet she’s heard talk of Bessie losing her jawbone, heard Ada say   that they ought not eat at the work tables. Today she rises early, despite the beginnings of a toothache and a raw, bleeding gum. One must not complain. Instead,…

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