Friday 17 April 2009

King Cotton's Table

1875 father came
follow the cotton
Sephardi merchant
met mother here where
King Cotton reigned
been deposed since
Manchester melting pot
Turkish and Syrian
clothe the working class
a great empire the cotton trade
Manchester Royal Exchange
Tuesdays and Fridays
within spitting distance
me in the warehouse
playing amongst the cotton
window facing the canal

father went to Synagogue
people back
for Saturday meal
10 around the table
any passing merchant
table was laden
good cheap wholesome food
don’t mix meat and milk
bloody easy to be observant
with cheap labour behind you

one Irish cook one Irish nurse
dietry rules
meat in one kitchen
milk in another
10 bob for two of them
nothing to be proud of
Middle Easten dishes
good old joint of roast beef
father thought it had no taste

Aslan Hamwee
Februrary 2008

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