Old Mary Sue who lives by the rail crossing
She will be seventy on her next birthday
In her hair she doesn't use tints dyes or colours
And she is not ashamed to show her gray.
Her only offspring Linda lives in Adelaide
At Largs Bay just a short walk from the sea
A thirty seven year old single mother
Her daughter will be twelve in January.
Old Mary seldom see her daughter and grand daughter
I see them every second year she say
And though they phone me every second week now
Still Adelaide seems a long journey away.
Yes Adelaide is nine hundred K's from Cranbourne
And she only wish that they were living near
But then she adds not much point in complaining
At least I see them every second year.
If Mary Sue would write her autobiography
The book on her life would make a great read
Fifteen years ago she joined the Salvation Army
To devote her life to those who are in need.
The only offspring of abusive parents
She was a street kid when she was fourteen
But you will never even hear her mention
Of her younger years and the hard times she has seen.
A pimp who preyed on street kids gave her shelter
She worked in his brothel as an under age prostitute
To say she was abused and treated badly
Would only be stating the obvious truth.
She escaped from the brothel three or four years later
And she got a job in a shoe factory
And for the first time in her young life she felt happy
And she had control of her destiny.
She fell in love with Joe a fellow worker
And he is her daughter's father it is said
But Joe deceived her by keeping from her his secret
He never told poor Mary he was wed.
He went back to his wife most married men do
And left Mary with the baby on her own
Why should she want to talk about her young years
And all the disappointments she has known
A fund raiser for the Salvation Army
And for those in need all her time she devote
And the story of her life would make a good read
Though such a book unlikely to be wrote.
Francis Duggan's Other Poems
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