This life's a wretched one,
Far from the one you were born to,
When you were a daughter and a sister.
Not the one you chose, as a wife and mother,
Nor even the decent life of a servant, with work and keep...
T'was the drinking that stole them all from you,
Your husband said you left them, kept the boy from you,
Spared no thought or mercy for you, let you drop among the unfortunates,
Cared no more for Mary Ann.
Now the drink is all you have-- friend, family, comforter,
The only medicine for your daily pain,
The thing that soothes your humiliation of working
For your doss-money amid the crowds of men...
Still, you kept on hoping, Polly dear,
Expecting your luck to turn.
As you said, that final night,
You had a "jolly bonnet"--
It was bound to turn out right.
Peace to you, Mary Ann Nichols, left alone
On a deserted street,
Bleeding in the gutter,
May we continue to recall your plight--
And seek your killer.
-- by Pat D.
--------------- Von Konigswald: Jack the Ripper plays shuffleboard. -- Happy Birthday, Wanda June by Kurt Vonnegut, c.1970.