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Mary Kelly's Last Words
by Robert Crawford

"You'll be alright for what I've told you."-
					     Words
By which to live a wholesome, happy life.
I wasn't always like this, do you know?
The woman of the hour, or the queen
Of the four penny knee trembler,
Back alley lover and the scourge of love.
You get the message, eh? In my home county
(It's unimportant which), my father found
I'd loved a lad so deeply, with a slap
Across my foolish face I landed here
In Miller's Court, in Jolly Olde. You've heard
This story countless times while traveling,
I'd wager, from the countless girls like me
Soliciting for custom in the fog.
Oh dear, somewhere in mischief I had lost
My kerchief. There's a dear, I'm much obliged...
A red one! 'Ey, bloke, are you tryin' to tell
Me something that I'm better off not knowin'?
Let's get a move on, love, 'cause, as they say,
The Ripper lurks about behind each lamp.
Those girls! You wouldn't do that to me, would
You, love? No, you've too much a gentle face,
And I don't think you'd ever have the heart.
Say, since you're feeling generous tonight,
Would you mind tossing in an extra ha'
Penny or two for an expectant mum?
I guess that I'm three months along or so.
I haven't seen a doctor, yet- Who can
Afford to take in physic, nowadays?
I don't know what I'll name it, boy or girl.
But I'll admit I haven't given it
Much thought, with all my cares to worry of.
Me rent's long overdue, M'Carthy's (He's
The landlord) breathing down me neck
For 30 shillings that he claims I owe.
Can you imagine, 30 shillings for
A hovel as this, even for a year?
For thirty silver pieces, he betrays
Me and me child, much like another lass
Named Mary's child. But still, I shouldn't be
Too hard on the old bastard, as he throws
Some custom my way every while or so.
Don't mind the broken window, love, the heat
Thrown out the grate just pushes out the draft
Where it belongs. If only evil were
As easily intimidated. Make
Yourself as comfortable as possible-
I promised you that much, at least.
				    Right where
You're standing, at the door, is where my friend
Had stood today when I told her before
She left, "Be good, and don't turn out to be
As I have."
	     Why are you still loitering
Beside the door? You're acting as if this
Is your first time. This is your fifth, you say?
Well, in Whitechapel, that's as close as one
Can get to sainthood.
		       What's in the valise?
You won't need toys with me, my dear. A knife...!
Oh, Lord, it's *you*. Oh murder...!