‘Twas the Night Before Christmas 2019

‘Twas the night before Christmas
And all round the house
The children were freezing
The gas had run out
They’re huddled in blankets
And second hand coats
With bad chest infections
And painful, sore throats.
There is no electric
They’ve run out of money
They’re scared and they’re frightened
They’re crying for mummy.
But mummy is down
to her last tearful nerve
Universal credit’s been
A steep learning curve.
And the children are hungry
And the cupboards are bare
They’re living off foodbanks
A bloody nightmare.
And it’s Christmas tomorrow
And what will they do?
They’re living off tatties
And vegetable stew.
No turkey bedecking
their rickety table
a fine Christmas dinner’s
a middle class fable.
No fat Christmas pudding
To feast, feast, feast, feast
For that sort of thing
Is a wealthy assed beast.
Santa is taking
a break for the night
for they can’t afford presents
their purse is too tight,
and the children will cry
and their hearts will be broken
they’ll think they’ve been bad
and no words that are spoken
will sooth their sad hearts
will bring back the magic
for poverty is sin
and their little lives tragic.
And benefits are sanctioned
And the poor they go hungry
And the wealthy don’t care
And the tories are angry
And people get poorer
And children get sadder
And the system gets fucked up
The money gets tighter.
The homeless get shit on
The sick are a burden
The mothers are chastised
Their futures uncertain.
How did our poor country
Get in this crap mess?
How did our ‘fine’ leaders
Be heartless, care less?
How did our poor children
Become casualties?
Hungry, tired, sorrowful
Tory fatalities.
‘Twas the night before Christmas
And some lives were shit
We need things to change
Put an end to it.

©2019 Sarah Drury

5 a.m.

I live on a council estate where there is a lot of poverty. I love it here and the people inspire me to write social commentary poetry. Here’s a poem I wrote about my street.

5 a.m.
The street is peaceful,
Sleeping
Dreaming of
Collecting their benefits
Buying a six pack of Carling
Having a flutter on the horses
And buying that winning ticket
For Saturday night’s Bonus Ball.
Drug dealers
Have finished their night shift,
Peddling a death sentence
To the addicted and those
Pleading not guilty
To the fact that
The smack will bring about
A premature demise.
The steelworks turn the dirty air
Into toxic poison
Orange plumes of acrid steam
Billowing into air
Putrid with the stench
Of poverty
Seeping into the lungs
Of a tired people
Already cancer-ridden
With the
Tumors of hopeless resignation.
Soon the hungry children will arise
From their comfortless beds
Like another soulless brick
In a Pink Floyd Wall
Throwing themselves
Into crumpled school clothes
Grey shrunken school shirts
Once as white as the
Paper on which they
Ink their reluctant prose
And denying all knowledge of
The smooth glide
Of a Russell Hobbs iron.
Mothers
Stressed by the news
That the DWP has sanctioned
Their Universal Credit
And the scattered fathers
Of their offspring
Have refused to pay
Maintenance
Yet again
For their screaming,
matted haired child.
Contemplating a trip to town
To sell their gold
To the pawn sharks
sell their body to the punters
sell their soul to
the crack pipe
or powder white coke.
For life is like that
On my little patch of Google Maps
The satellite can’t see
The no entry signs
For hope and benevolence
And street view
Doesn’t show
The bare footed toddlers
Wandering the streets
Feral and alone
The huddled gangs of teens
With nowhere else to go
But the prospect of the dole queue
Or break at the pleasure of Her Majesties
Prison.
The harangued mothers
In the Primark tracksuits
And knock-off Adidas
Gathering at the bus stop
With their benefit babies.
Bitching about Sandra down the road
With her Bastard kids
The bravado matcho dads
Loitering around scrapped out cars
Cans of Stella in their pudgy hands
Dreaming of the day when
There will stand,
In their driveway,
A golden Lamborghini
Complete with a bikini clad
Sexist dream.
Laviciously judging
Passing by women
With a catcall or a jeer.
But I live on these streets
And I love these streets
And I love these people
Like Lowry loved his matchstick men
The place I call my home.
The place where my heart
Is resting
For a while
Until I am free
To fly to
The city.

© Sarah Drury 2019