I wrote this as a social worker for a government welfare agency in the 90’s. I doubt much has changed.
Dear ‘Bring Back The Lash’ of Burnside,
What is it that you want us to do?
To witness for the children
(who live with the ‘monsters’
that dwell in the mysteries
of mythical ‘other’ suburbs)
while saving the Family?
To seek remorse from the children
of beating, beaten fathers
for spraying your walls
like strutting, rutting tomcats
prowling your memory lanes?
To firmly guide the child-mother
to the double-breasted state,
in the secret hope of confiscation
of the child-father’s heir
for replanting in the middle ground?
To guide the steps of the dispossessed
to the paths of committee righteousness
where the swords of primal anger
can be beaten into submissions,
the ploughshares of the damned?
To muffle black voices
and stumble into families
two hundred years in the breaking
and steal back their youth’s Dreaming
at two hundred k’s an hour?
To hear your rage in silence
as you birch us for our weakness
and hang us from the headlines,
while the raiders of the lost recession
brief QC’s from Majorca?
As we stumble to the millennium
doing more tricks with less,
we scan the darkness of your charity
and our own wounded, winding road
for a light to guide us home.