Ailsa Holland – One Family

One Family

We had to take out out a massive mortgage
to get a house big enough for the eight of us.
But no-one likes living with debt, do they?
We all like to balance the books.
I think we’ve found the perfect solution.

We’ve shortened the repayment term
from twenty years to five. This means
we have to be thrifty. We’ll stop
buying shoes and clothes for the kids
and give them just one meal a day.

We’ll save money on bills,
if we only heat our bedroom.
And no-one needs books
or school trips
or musical instruments, do they?

We’ll carry on having three meals
as usual, but I think that’s ok,
we’ve worked hard, we’ve earned it,
and we’ll only have champagne
on special occasions, say once a week.

What’s that you say? Some of the kids
haven’t had the chance to work yet?
The little ones aren’t strong enough?
Well, we’ve brought them up
with good values

so I’m sure they’ll support each other
and I think being cold and hungry
will be just the thing to motivate them
into self-reliance. Don’t think it’s not hard
for us, having to make these tough choices.

Ailsa Holland is a poet and the founder of Moormaid Press. Her poems have been published in print and online in such places as Under the Radar, Nutshell, Black Light Engine Room, Angle, Ink Sweat & Tears and And Other Poems. She won second prize in the Open Category of the 2014 Hippocrates Award and was commended in the 2014 Café Writers Competition.