Richard Fleming

Richard Fleming Poems

1. The Cockle Gatherers 6/24/2004
2. Madrid 6/24/2004

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Best Poem of Richard Fleming

The Cockle Gatherers

We found them difficult
to love, despised
their foreignness

and could discover
in those bland, concealing faces,
no vestige of ourselves.

Their exile presence here
was deemed invasive:

in this age of doubting,
of our nation’s
stumbling disease.

We shared with them no culture, no common aim.

Their language, that unintelligible
muddle of sounds,
set them apart,

built a great wall
their so reluctant hosts

and them, the strangers,
hungry to seize the beastly jobs
no native beast ...

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