Real Toads: Strange Fish

This is for Real Toads weekend challenge – a photo by Hedgewitch which she asks us to write to. I am also posting for Poets United Poetry Pantry. Toads:  http://withrealtoads.blogspot.com/2017/10/camera-flash.htmlp Poets United link: http://poetryblogroll.blogspot.com/2017/10/poetry-pantry-374.html

Strange Fish
He jumped from the Putney bridge in the winter of 1890.
He drowned. Within a few days his body filled with gas
And rose to the top of the water,
Bumping and bobbing its way along,
caught in the current of the Thames.
It went through the city
past pastures, villages –
After a few days it was finally spotted
by a small child who ran to her mum.
Her mum ran to the local bailiff
Who in turn called out the able bodied men
who formed a line on the shore of the river
and dragged him ashore.
Not a pretty picture by this time.
They shook their heads over the
poor young lad come to no good
and wondered if he was pushed,
If he was drunk and fell in,
oa if it was suicide.
They decided on the lesser of the causes
And buried him an unknown drunk in the church yard.
If it had been suicide, he would not have been
buried in the church yard.
As a murder victim he would have to be investigated
by somebody or other.
They put a small stone on his grave
and the date they pulled him from the river.
The local stonemason carved
“The Lord giveth and taketh away”
In his pockets was a washed away picture,
a few shillings and pennies
and a sodden handkerchief
with the initials TLB embroidered upon it.

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