UNISONActive is an unofficial blog produced by UNISON activists for UNISON activists. Bringing news, briefings and events from a progressive left perspective.

Sunday, 19 January 2014

Dear Margaret by Laura Taylor

For Orgreave, the Beanfield, and Hillsborough.
For Operation Swamp 81.
For the miners, the unions,
the working class heroes,
the people whose skin you denied.
For the innocents turned into criminals.
For giving the Force a free rein.
to wield batons and tear gas and horses,
to weaken and batter them all.

For the families who died.
For the lies you allowed to be told
all this time, not giving an ounce
of the truth or of justice for this ‘96.
For the mass destruction of all our communities,
psyches and spirits and faith.

For my dad, ex-Services, thrown on the dole
fifteen times in as many long months.

For my mother, dug deeper in poor mental health;
the poverty making her sicker, and sadder,
and madder than she’d ever been.

For my brother, who lived without wages for years, burned out
on a pyre of your making.

For the youth of myself, for the public disgrace
of the free-dinner-queue, for the old cast-off shoes,
for none of the school trips or cookery lessons,
for shrinking grey socks, for the punches and kicks
that my mother let fly in her madness.
For the ice and the mould inside every window.
For the hunger, the shame, my family’s pain,
for the living we scraped hand to mouth.

For all the above, for all our lost years,
for all of the grief and the depths that we reached.
Dear Margaret
there’s no absolution,
no forgiveness, or pity or grief.
Your legacy lives in the fat of the rich.
May your soul never find any peace.