Foreign Affairs

Safe Custody

Jun 2002

Based on a report in the Daily Telegraph 6/6/01

The Hollidaysburg Trust Company, Blair County, Pennsylvania
Doesn't sound like a crèche to me
But for Matthew Mingle, eighteen months,
That's what it came to be.

His mother took him to work one day:
Can she claim it's not her fault
That none of her colleagues seemed to know
He was playing in the vault?

So when the safe was closed that day
Poor Matthew was locked inside
But they couldn't beat the time switch
No matter how they tried.

The bank called out the fire brigade
Who had no better luck
But they fed some tubes into the vault
With air, and drinks to suck.

And then they sang him lullabies
Which seemed to work just great:
He fell asleep while a locksmith came
From Ohio, the neighbouring state.

And after nearly seven hours
Young Matthew saw the light
And his mother, who had been distraught,
Held him really tight.

Now the bank is offering babysitting
At a price they say is cheap,
And the firemen are all moonlighting -
Singing local kids to sleep.

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the above work is copyright David Axton © All Rights Reserved