So, we apologise for everything.
The NHS and parking, unemployment,
attitudes to immigrants, the price
of food and drink. It doesn’t
really affect us, we don’t know
about shopping bills, bus fares
or the cost of fuel; but we’re sorry
to hear you’re struggling –
can you try harder to earn more?

We didn’t mean to pinch your arse
or overlook promotion. Didn’t mean
those rude remarks, or your
lower pay scale wages. If you
want a job then fight for it,
you must pay for education;
sitting in the bar, like us,
won’t help with your ambition.
Can’t you try harder to earn more?

The line is longer than you’d wish,
the pub was quiet and empty.
I’m  always amazed how much I know
compared to all the experts.
We’ve started so we’ll finish,
the odds are stacked against us;
nothing’s ever gained by deceit,
so figure out your reasons
for not earning what you’re worth.

Yesterday’s forgotten, tomorrow
isn’t here, so work out your position.
You didn’t mean to end up this way,
but this is what the facts say:
you did this and you did that,
then thought of other things to do.
You say that you deserve more,
you are worth more, but we’re
at the mercy of market forces:

you’re only worth what they will pay
and you are always undervalued.
Life is shit, and what is worse,
there is no love between us.
Things we value are worth less
(which implies a kind of freedom),
but we are lost and without work,
even though we want to earn
what we’re worth or more.

Trust us and we’ll prove ourselves,
return on your investment.
Pennies pinched and spent
will reward phantom guidance.
We don’t know the cost of things,
are not involved in daily finance,
but of course we understand
and care, please rest assured
we know how hard things are.

We apologise for everything:
the price of drink and unemployment.
Revise your attitude to immigrants
and the price of food and drink.
We don’t know about shopping bills,
bus or train fares, what gas costs.
Sorry to hear you’re struggling,
we’re sorry to hear you’re poor,
but can’t you manage to earn more?


© Rupert M Loydell
Photo Cecil Beaton

[First published in I am Not a Silent Poet]

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