Scum

Scum don't look no different
From other men and women,
It isn't what they are,
It's how they make their living.
They're some of them polite,
A few of them are rude,
But hardly any bite,
Though many are tattooed.

Scum don't dress no different,
Except the outright whores,
And one or two old lags,
The nanny goats and boars.
They're not all alcoholics,
They're not all thick as shit,
They won't all steal your wallets,
They're not creatures of the Pit.

They don't all fondle children,
Or deal in heroin,
They don't all go housebreaking,
And some but seldom sin.
At times you may berate them.
And openly indict them,
But just because you hate them
Doesn't mean you'll never like them.

Scum are normal people
As often as perverse,
The fact they are so ordinary
Makes the problem worse.
There's no point judging them
For anything they've done,
But never turn your back on them,
Nor once forget they're scum.

[The above was first published in the 1987 anthology We're Coming For Your Telecom Shares].

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