Monday, 23 July 2007

The Cockle Pickers

They were two dozen Chinese youths from across the china sea
Who scrimped and saved to pay the gangmaster’s passage fee
They came to gather cockles one cold February day
Not knowing of the treacherous tides across the Morecombe bay
When dusk arrived they still contrived to fill the canvass sacks
Though the constant bending over gave them aching backs
They thought it time to finish but as they looked across the bay
They started sinking in the sand the tide had won the day
Frantically they tried to phone the coastguard on the shore
Couldn’t make them understand their English was so poor
And after days their lifeless bodies were washed up on the shore
Two dozen grieving families who would see their men no more
For the sake of a bag of cockles they paid dearly with their lives
And through the greed of gangmasters made widows of their wives.

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