Margaret Alice Second

Gold Star - 16,071 Points (24 January 1961 / South Africa)

Can’t Stand It [rev.] - Poem by Margaret Alice Second

The little alien at the controls in my head
still reads children’s books as if these are
truth, sharing in characters’ experiences;
such as eating warm, buttered toast and

Plum pudding - in contrast with the hunger
suffered by the poor like the girl with
bent legs who was fed only flour & water,
no milk, shocking me into craving food

Fearing disaster; reading about poverty in
19th century England with young children
working in noisy cotton mills which made
a sensitive character burst into tears upon

witnessing it, then dying in a nursery fire –
it makes all life seem drab: - these scary
books should have age restrictions; it can’t
be good for kids to read such awful stories

Real life should be censored also when the
little alien looks at newspaper accounts of
the painful lives of abused children - life is
too harsh for humans, the question is –

How DO we stand it? – The answer lies in
over-crowded prisons & mental Institutions
which prove we can’t stand it at all…

Topic(s) of this poem: feelings, sadness


Poet's Notes about The Poem

The second revision at the top focuses on the essential message while the original is still kept because it reminds me of the background of this poem and because I appreciate the mark it received.

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Poem Submitted: Monday, March 16, 2015

Poem Edited: Wednesday, April 22, 2015


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