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November 27, 2023
"Mes de los Muertos"


By Paul Tanner


a bunch of gypsies robbed the shop
and knocked over a worker on the way out.

I got on the radio to the street team
and said: a bunch of gypsies just robbed us
and knocked over a worker.
a voice on the other end said: you can't say that.
gypsies, they said. the correct term is Romany Travellers.
ok, fine, I said. a bunch of Romany Travellers
just robbed us and knocked over a worker,
now can you come round, please?

as we waited for them to come get a statement
I couldn't help but wonder why
as a scouse Irish drifter
I myself wasn't robbing shops
Since, for all the dangerous work I do in them,
I barely made rent some weeks.

then again, I can't afford a caravan either.
I can't afford to be a gypsy or a Romany Traveller
or whatever it is I am ...
what the hell am I?

a scouse Irish drifter
who's fellow minimum wage worker
is crying on the floor

as my protectors approach,
telling me I need to be re-trained
on my crime reporting etiquette.

Article © Paul Tanner. All rights reserved.
Published on 2022-07-25
Image(s) © Sand Pilarski. All rights reserved.
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