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Sunday, 16 June 2019 15:59

Sitting Ducks

Written by
in Poetry
Sitting Ducks

Sitting ducks

by Steve Griffiths

As we went about our humdrum little tasks
they had us in crosshairs,
observing our tastes,
worming into our whims,
our victimhood as it was forming.

The aim of the barrel wavered
in a human hand, exaggerating difference,
upping the contrast
in the rangefinder
to insistent.
Just one bullet, a dum-dum,
once embedded in the mind,
explodes our stories:
the projectile designed
to expand on impact
to deliver faster incapacitation.
Just because they can,
and since they only know
how to melt the icesheets
not how to put them together again,
how to strip the lead off the rooves
of back additions, semis and town halls,
stash it and sell it,
blow the cash on arms for despots
and devious development
till it’s gone,
from oversight at least.
The fossil of a public service
twitches into life in your dreams,
deep below fight or flight,
intensely private,
just where they wanted it.

Then the slate,
the reckoning, the diminution we know.
‘Carry on’
passing down the line beyond earshot
in the clipped, dismissive intonation
of entitlement of seventy years ago
when somewhere in the noise
there was also making and shaping,
the inspired shoots of fresh growth
over the dying.

There’s a difficulty understanding cause.
Let us learn aping,
with cake to dull the threat
of thinking through the ache.
The breadwalk.
Free up the jobs to the lowest bidder.
Make our children debtors
to their betters.
Sell our information.
Sell our nation.
The havenots remaining
when they voted leave.
The haves in havens.
We let them just because
they had the balls
and means.
And the locked-out,
hooded without eyeholes or airholes,


Read 1684 times Last modified on Sunday, 23 June 2019 17:40
Steve Griffiths

Steve Griffiths spent his working life in welfare rights, community work and researching and campaigning on health and social policy, from neighbourhood to national scale.