River rats we were called, no better than gypsies they would shout. I grew with a chip on my shoulder and a frown on my brow.
I came to Venice; fell for a gondolier or two. Nobody spat on my shoe, my art degree held weight … my purse too.
Some nights when the stench is thick, I hanker after our canal boat, on a canal in England;
with Mum and Dad. Me, throwing my fists, defying the world. A tear Stained face wrapped in muscled arms smelling of old spice and tobacco. I am now a river rat wrapped in Ermine.