Smear by Harry Gallagher

I am not a silent poet

Before they even pull the charcoaled out,
zoom lenses poking through smashed windows,
they scratch the charred remains for blame,
scapegoating through the cinders.

They’re choking in slurs at the sharp end,
the chip pan fire man “snuck out the back”,
the all tornup shouldering the sores
whenever the almighty are under attack.

It seems like it’s always been this way,
tramping all over the bones of the broken.
Miners blown to bits, the owners of the pits used to smear
“they must have been smoking”.

It’s back to the good old, bad old days
when you hear that siren sound.
Down the ages, nothing changes.
There must have been a miner smoking underground.

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