Poetry by Edward ian Armchair

How Can You Sleep?

How can you sleep Mrs. May

Another day ends.
Another thousand souls, blackened in disgrace.
Another million minds in ruin.
You put on your pale pink winceyette nightdress.
Your fur lined slippers fit snugly around your tired, aching feet.
You slip between the warm cotton sheets and rest your weary head upon your soft, clean pillow.

But, how can you sleep?

On every street corner, your smiling face beams, from newspaper stands.
Another resounding success, in defeat of the left.
A few cuts here, a few more there, another penny pinched.
You're driven home, safe in the knowledge that blind fools believe even though you deceive,
and blind sheep follow your every move.

But how can you sleep?

When did you last walk the streets?
The crumbling streets of this once flourishing land?
When did you put a penny in the pockets of the poor or a crumb in the mouths of the hungry?
But with pride you line the pockets of the rich and fill to overflowing the stomachs of the wealthy.

But how can you sleep?

With that cruel smile and that knowing nod, you have your answers at the ready,
"The disadvantaged few, have very little clue, of how to manage their money.
They should turn down the heat and suffer in silence, the biting winter cold.
Economies can be made when they have to be made, especially by the woman in the street.
She should buy used clothes, use cheaper shops, and buy cheaper cuts of meat."
With a twinge of guilt, you retire to your bed,
you slip between the warm cotton sheets and rest your weary head upon your soft clean pillow.

But how can you sleep?

How can you sleep?
When the people you govern can't meet your latest demands?
And you hear them crying their hearts out,
pleading with you to untie their hands.

How can you sleep, Mrs. May?

Edward says...

This was originally written in 1982 at the height of Thatcherite Britain. The anger filled the air in those days, with 3.5 million people unemployed as Thatcher systematically destroyed the working class. Now over thirty years later here we are again. The blind acceptance of austerity as if there is no alternative once again destroys what is now the underclass. While the upwardly-mobile aspiring middle-classes clutch at red, white and blue straws labelled "Brexit" as their ticket to a better life. I only had to change one word in this poem when I re-wrote it 35 years later - swap Thatcher for May. Edward
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