Son, I wish I knew. A poem by Bobby Motherwell

Dad, how did it get to this?
Where the economy takes precedence
over human life?
Where ‘herd immunity’ slips from his tongue,
and the thinly veiled mask
covers also the knife, that cuts and cuts and cuts away,
at any semblance of fair pay, for those who risk their lives.
And in doing so save his
Dad, how did it get to this?

Dad, how did it get to the point
where these fools now run the show?
How did we stoop so low
To be suckered by such a crew, empty slogans now the new…..philosophy.
And never to shoulder blame
No, deflect it to the few, a very old game
from our colonial empire past,
where double barrelled names play loose and fast. With life.
Division cast, mould set, oh precious Albion anoint
Dad how did it get to this point?

Dad how did we get so dumb? How come?
Unthinking as we read, without inclination,
that sweeping propaganda could permeate the nation, unchallenged.
The likes of Hillsborough, and of Minny Dowler, the Blair and Bush illegal war, the Birmingham Six all once we fell for,
assuming from our fourth estate, justice upheld, truth uncovered. Too late.
Guilty parties incarcerated, feet to the fire;
our freedoms truly liberated…. now? aye right.
How to this did we succumb?
Dad how did we get so dumb? How come?

Dad how will this all end?
If, heaven forfend,
we don’t stop it dead in its tracks,
roll corporate and corrupt capitalism back,
and bring to a bloody end, this sleepwalk.
This somnambulistic trudge towards
apocalyptic false rewards, which strangle free flowing veins, a slow death.
Can our hope remain? Our dream survive?
Can truth and humanity remain alive?
Has my generation time to amend?
Dad how will this all end?

Son, I wish I knew. I truly do.
I wish with all my heart we could restart,
and never to have set this bearing.
To have stuck to a path more caring, and trusted to our instinct over greed,
a world to feed, a compassionate sowing of seed.
But let us not be burdened by our past, our duplicity to the four winds is cast, our shame.
My heir, please put to the sword our reckless game!
Oh that it be true.
Son, I wish I knew. I truly do.

Bobby Motherwell ©️30/4/2020

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