Two hundred thousand claimants and ATOS, by Hazel Hammond

I am not a silent poet

for Lawrence  Toms and other stout hearts  

I see the noughts like big heavy tears
struggle to believe each one is an individual
in my gut I know its true , a soft tear falls
I cannot ‘unknow’ the ghastly truth , another tear
falls, drops silently
They do no good, the system has crushed the thousands beyond life
and I stand at the shore, believe myself impotent
Yes, I have celebrated a care package for a friends daughter
been relieved at an ill friend’s grant which  after that she shares with her mother
and some regular income for a friend whose feet tread  imaginary stony beaches without shoes
I am swept along by a river of news
each seemingly little unrecorded injustice  accumulating
twenty thousand, two hundred thousand tears or more will not erode this Shoah
you cannot tally this total with one act.
So preach love, act…

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