‘The Iron Children’ by Rachel Plummer

The Iron Children

Along our street the iron children come,
cast and wrought. The road rings like a struck
cymbal below their clanging feet. For luck
we clank our coins into their mouths, all dumb
as metal, hear them rattle down and thrum
the stainless engines deep inside each quick
gullet. They flood the street with blood-smell, thick
as rust; church bell faces. What will become
of the mother carrying her iron child
inside of her, a silver pear to weigh
her down? Pot-bellied, saucepan-bellied. Thirsting
for the iron monger’s ore, her child
hungry. Its metal, melted down, would pay
a heavy debt, or fill a womb to bursting

Rachel Plummer is an Edinburgh based poet. She is co-author of Char, a pamphlet of poems on
the subject of working class women’s history in the Grassmarket area of Edinburgh. She is a
recipient of the Scottish Book Trust’s New Writers Award 2016. You can find her tweeting @smaychel