Thursday, 1 December 2011


Our parents lived through wars
knew bloodshed, hardship
the meaning of work
and of no work
empty grates in cold houses

We were well fed
taught in schools
warmed in higher
education, protested
against colonialism,
unemployment, apartheid,
all kinds of discrimination
chose public service
to give something back

Even in good times we
made no fortunes
no flash cars or
holidays in Barbados
kids at local schools
we were governors
PTA members
community people

We put away those placards
lapel badges and clenched fists
with the ration books
and the old army pictures
thinking they belonged
to another age
another existence
never to return

But today we reached
back in time to smell fear
and  the enemy’s
cold breath
and we marched
once more
like soldiers
like students
like workers.

© David Subacchi

As it happened: National strike
David Subacchi is a civil servant who has been writing poetry seriously for just over a year. He hopes to publish his first English collection in 2012.