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This is where we sit to watch the night come in
ever since Trumputin bombed our English towns.
We emptied freezers, ate our neighbours pets.
Now in the bird-settling, when once we sat down
to be tamed by tv shows we can’t recall,
we recline here and watch the weeds approach
knowing soon their rope will be a ligature
that tightly winds itself around our throats.
(To the proprietors of the pro-Brexit press, sundry trolls, and anyone else who tells me to shut up and get over it.)
Don’t tell me how to love
the country of my birth
don’t tell me that to love my country
I must be like you
and not like me
Don’t tell that you built my country
on your wealth
or won my country on the battlefield
Your wealth was stolen from the womb
of mother Africa
plundered from other homelands
painted red and called The Empire.
My country was not won
in far-off lands
where brave men paid the price
of madmen’s sins
My country was woven in the mills of Lancashire
from cotton picked by brothers and sisters
some called slaves,
and hewn in darkness down the pit
My country was carried on the backs
of common labourers
forged in the sweat of steel-workers
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Their ladders ain’t for us to climb, we don’t have the money
to waste. Some things are simply beyond our power,
our weapons are the subtle charms of the fairer sex.
Leave it for the men to make their declarations, fight their war –
as bright as a nuclear flash, and just as toxic.
We will care for one another, patch their wounded masculinity
hold the threads of civilization
by the force of our will
The summer of the Age of Man soon
enough, my dear, will turn to fall.
Charley Reay is a writer and spoken word artist from the Lincolnshire Fens. She is currently based in Newcastle Upon Tyne, where she has lived for almost a decade. Her poems have been published by Obsessed With Pipework, 3 Drops from a Cauldron and Writers Against Prejudice. She is also a regular performer on the North East spoken word…
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