Thursday, 07 May 2020 12:43

VE Day: Why they give you medals

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in Poetry
191
VE Day: Why they give you medals

 Why they give you medals

For B.L., who sent his back to the palace, stating 'I didn't fight for you'.

by Fran Lock, with Unlovable Labour image above by Steev Burgess

So they can keep the bloody colonies.
So they can dress the slums in bunting.
So they can rewrite you, as a brittle fiction of flags.
So they can boil your bones for soup.
So they can talk your ruined churches into cenotaphs.
So they can burn you, rank efficiency of fat.
So they can burn you, pale skin tempered to animal tallow.
So they can kick the squatters out of kensington.
So they can fold your fingers over a forger's note.
So they can rebrand your bible as a ration book.
So they can photograph your wife, obedient in grief.
So they can feed your kids with bread so thin it lets the light through.
So they can dress in union drag.
So they can flog their heresies of lead to the highest bidder.
So they can export the anthracite.
So they can choke you on soot and sulphurous slack.
So they can bind the phossy jaws of ghosts with gauze.
So they can spend a weekend in the country.
So they can clip a coupon speech from clucking tongues.
So they can emboss you on their bankrupt currencies.
So they can chew the latin cud of sacrifice.
So they can work your dead friends names into a skipping rhyme.
So they can work your dead friends names into a football chant.
So they can crown you with laurels of frog ophrys.
So they can turn you out into the myxy blear of mornings to queue for coal.
So they can close the shipyards.
So they can close the factories.
So they can hire you back at half the pay.
So they can melt your ploughshares into a staple of swords.
So they can cut you off at the mains to shake in a freezing parody of palsy.
So they can regurgitate the humming sufferance of wires whenever they open their mouths.
So they can tell you you are lucky.
So they can tell you blame your neighbour.
So they can carve your green space into dirty verges.
So they can build a motorway.
So they can broadcast a slogan of bone.
So they can beam the guppy faces of the monarchy into every meagre sitting room.
So they can rivers of blood.
So they can johnny foreigner.
So they can apartheid.
So they can diplock courts.
So they can raise a chorus of straw uniforms.
So they can watch you shuffle the jaundiced gauntlet of the labour exchange.
So they can deny your child a place at university.
So they can put you on a blacklist.
So they can try you for sedition.
So they can traitor.
So they can filthy fucking commie.
So they can nigger lover.
So they can restless natives.
So they can noble savages.
So they can no Irish need apply.
So they can keep their wives in mineral wealth.
So they can put up fences.
So they can build a bigger wall.
So they can keep the prison stocked and the hospitals empty.
So they can call you golden.
So they can tell you that you like it.

Read 191 times Last modified on Thursday, 07 May 2020 14:11
Fran Lock

Fran Lock is a poet, illustrator, and political activist. She has written several collections of poetry, the most recent being 'Raptures and Captures', published by Culture Matters.