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Friday, 11 January 2013

A Dream of Retirement

(or The Lament of the Ageing Worker)

We must work on, workers not shirkers,
though we have laboured all our lives;
and now, when our bodies fail us us and pain us,
they make us more trouble than we're worth;
and, because our wits bend, nimble and quick,
to the root and sum of the of the past,
we offend as much by what we know
as the burden of the cost of what we eat.

They say we must stand on our two feet
and not only work but be glad;
we must teach our brittle and aching bones
how work will keep us warm and make us free;
and we must not look for peace and rest
for, in truth, we now outlast our proper use;
and, since, for us, there is no work, though we
may either freeze or sicken, we must die.

© Abigail Wyatt, 2012

And they laughed as they did it
Poorest households hardest hit

Abigail Wyatt was once a teacher but cannot live on her pension. She now works part-time in a cafe, cares for her elderly mother, watches the death throes of western capitalism, and writes whenever she can.


  1. How they laughed. "And then they came for the immigrant and the smoker and the fat"

    Abigail, I enjoyed the read. What for the future (round the world cruise with those in wheelchairs rowing at the crack of Ian Duncan Adolf Hitler Smith's crack o'the whip?


    1. Thanks, PJ. There are some mornings when my partner and I find the thought of 'the future' too terrible to contemplate. Usually, though, we recover our spirits by lunch time and resume squawking. :-)

  2. Nice poem Abi. It is hard to stay positive all of the time.