as the media orchestrates its backlash.
They have given the people their hour of outrage
and the chance to point the finger;
after all, in the end, the stomach lurches;
too much revulsion chills the blood.
Now the story is an old one;
as it overflows the gutter
its effluent threatens high places;
it comes with a stink of something rank
that promises to shift us from our peace.
So now the big wheel spins again
and the story, this time, is 'injustice':
how lives are 'trashed' and health is 'destroyed'
by the willful, spiteful calumnies
of 'fantasists' who for legal reasons,
cannot be 'named' or 'shamed';
and there are pictures to persuade us
of these men's great pain and remind us
how they suffer in their frailty;
the photographs and the headlines grow
reflecting the 'size' of the name.
On Facebook, meanwhile, the tide has turned
and some of us are sensing a sea-change.
The world has heard enough for now
of the anguish of children long grown;
but some of us know, too, from the inside out,
how innocence may shatter in a moment
and how hard it is when there are no photographs
to bring to the world the lifelong cost
of our 'historic' pain.
Rolf Harris Trial
Abigail Wyatt writes poetry and short fiction. She lives near Redruth in Cornwall.