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Emily Rosko

There was no room for us to have feelings.

Under the Queen, we were foiled, our faces blanked of wonder.

A pitiful ordeal, our cheap toil. We hated her for stealing.

Our crooked backs ached; our knees bled from kneeling,

the whole sum of our treasures given up to fund her.

There was no room for us to have feelings,

so we made our way quietly; we arranged our own dealings,

checked what we clocked. Each swallowed their thunder

and railed within. Nothing left out for stealing.

But pound for pound, we grew skinny, weary, reeling

from the new rules she devised. We had to watch and mind her.

There was no room for us to have feelings.

We were audited, then fined. We abided her schooling.

Then, all music stopped. All solitude filled, we couldn't ponder

our losses. We tried to forget how much she was stealing.

Our patron saints left us; the stars took to jeering, leering

at our lessened state. We hardened at our blunder.

There was no room to have any feelings.

What of us? Not a pittance. No worth there for stealing.

Poet from USA. (The poem is from her collection Prop Rockery).