soot as black as the soul

Snotty nosed children
No more than five
Wore clothing in rags
Not wishing to stay alive

Tearful faces
Swollen hands
Hungry tummies
Throughout the lands

Bare feet
Tiny little limbs
Swollen eyes
Innocent lives

Heartbreaking cries
Wishing they were never born
Age blinded by duty
Purity is gone

Dirty little bodies
Aching arms and legs
Feeling all alone
Sticky out bones

A victim of death
Struggling for breath
Blood soaked skin
Bodies’ deadly thin

Chimney sweeping
Broken backs
Children weeping
Cleaning all the cracks

Water and bread
No such luck
Never to be fed
Working in muck

Missing mummy
Cursing daddy
Heads down in shame
Sticking to their game

Broken bones
Missing teeth
Strange taste
Blood soaked face

Coughing up blood
Always diarrhoea
Death would be mild
Diseased little child

Chafed around the legs
Slapped around the heads
Whipped until they cannot stand
There is none more evil land

Sobbing in the day
Crying in the night
Lungs filled with soot
Eyes blinded with light

No friends
No family
No sense of life
Innocence blinded by strife

Ears clogged with wax
No time to relax
Little babies
No more than five
Not wishing to stay alive

soot as black as the soul

tetteley

Maddington, Australia

  • Artist
    Notes

Artist's Description

i don’t know why i wrote this poem. i read a novel that had a chapter about chimney sweeps, one was only 4 years old. my youngest brother is 4 and it broke my heart… i usually write personal poetry about my own experience in life, this has told a different story.

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