The book stall outside King’s Cross station

by Izabelle Chappell

“A penny for a tale, young master?”
The crone called from her stall.
“Find out how Dr Jekyll
Attended his latest ball.”
Her corset was laced crooked,
Though her shoes were clean and neat;
He shouted over the rabble
Of the sweepers in the street.
“How much for this story?”
“A penny only, sir,
Find out how Spring Heeled Jack defeated
The latest crusty cur.”
Her shawl trailed from her shoulders
As she brandished a small book,
“See how the boy detective
Defeats his latest crook!”
“A penny it is then, Mrs,
Do you have any demon barber?”
“Why, yes! For the demon that lives on Fleet Street,
You needn’t look any farther.
And as for highwayman tales;
Why, I’ve got a shedfull!
So come up here, young master,
Buy the latest penny dreadful.”