The Patriots, by George Szirtes

An essay in Audenesque

When patriots go bawling in the street
Cursing and threatening as is their wont,
When politicians strut and yell and bleat
And right wing rags scream in their largest font,
When you can hear the thugs mutter and blag
Gathering below the nation’s flag,
You know you’ve heard it once before
Or twice or three times, maybe more,
It’s history kids, you know the score.

You know the score
You know the score
You go to bed and lock the door
And wait for them to bawl for more.

When roars of Traitor, Pirate, Foreign Scum,
Rise from the throats of educated toffs
Who feed the mob with the odd tasty crumb
So one man hungers while another scoffs,
When rhetoric is pitched ready for war
And lynching is demanded by the poor,
When nationhood comes down to race
Your nose cut off to spite your face
So that pure hatred fills the place.

You’ll know your place
You’ll know your place
To leave, to leave, without a trace
Hounded, expelled, and in disgrace.

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