ODOP: Churls

Dunces, fools, and dullards, us city rats were called,
For we were stult and stuffed underneath
A teacher’s gaze, a caseworker’s survey,
The averted eyes of bosses
And the stares of prison guards.
This went on some generations.
This went on some millennia.
The world went round, and we went down,
It turned but never, lamented our betters, we learned.
We scarcely could grasp when they said the stars were falling and the seas were rising
Were working too deep underground
Didn’t know till walls were knocked round
(But we hear every last one of them’s drowned.)

Windy and wild, but they gave out in the end,
Submitted to our ankles in the end, licking and lapping,
In the end it washed away the grime,
Cleansed our flea-rid sores, caressed our bruises,
Scoured the cuts of many a knuckling and many a rapping and many a beating and many a flogging,
The beatings we took from our betters for not being better,
And left us stung and raw
And ready. At the end.

The sunfloods came, the hills all fell, and golddust rode the winds.
Our memories are cured since then.

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