Donkey Stone | Poetry

Donkey Stone

Rod Butterworth, Rochdale

An age of grim, a time of grit
With Rochdale in the thick of it,
As cotton mills poured out their smoke,
The houses too, from coal and coke,
The air hung heavily from the pall
Which settled and blackened every wall,
Times were hard, jobs poorly paid
Folk toiled with grit, the grime just stayed,
Except for doorsteps, which alone
Were kept so clean with donkey stone

Today, the mills and chimneys gone,
Building cleaned up one by one,
The grime has gone,- but many doubt
What donkey stones were all about.
They were about an inner pride,
Doorsteps cleaned meant clean inside,
Curtains, blinds are viewed today
As a sign that grit and pride will stay.

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