Indicators of Austerity by Maggie Mackay

A severity of manner towards the voiceless,

holes in worn out safety nets,

the late bus, appointment missed,

‘no show’ recorded,

poverty premium on energy meter,

ten blue fingers, painted with frost,

a cold box of food,

smuggled tin of the rich man’s salmon:

marked ‘ideal items for a food bank ‘

(mind to include tins of wartime Spam),

red vouchers as payment,

the collapse of a carer,

zero hours contract, zero hours this week

or forced redundant after long service,

surveillance by state vigilantes,

worsening coughs and troughs,

death, death of the present,

wage-less, tearful pleas, benefit delay,

a casting out

by the unyielding wealthy,

cashless, penniless – man, mind thyself,

the survival of the fittest,



Maggie Mackay is a brave-hearted Scot and a final year MA Poetry student at Manchester Metropolitan University. She has work in various print and online publications, including A New Manchester Alphabet, Bare Fiction, Ink, Sweat and Tears, Prole, The Interpreter’s House, Indigo Dreams Publishing and Three Drops Press.

One thought on “Indicators of Austerity by Maggie Mackay

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s