I never walked abroad in air,
I never saw the sky,
Nor knew the sovereign touch of care,
Nor looked into an eye.
I never chose, nor gave assent,
Nor voted on m fate –
Unseen I came, unseen I went,
Too early and too late.
This was my only life-line: trust
As absolute as blood,
Now down into the bucket thrust,
Anonymous as mud.
Oh you within whose God-like power
It lies to so decide,
Remember me when, some late hour,
Talk turns to ‘genocide’,
For I was part of that doomed race
Whose death-cell was the womb –
But who can clear a bloody space
And call it ‘living room’?
I never had a name, or cried
That central cry, ‘I am!’
But in a world-wide shambles died,
Defenceless as a lamb.
And many called it self-defence,
And many ZPG,
And all was done at my expense,
At the total cost of me.
Remember me the next time you
Rejoice at sun or star-
I would have loved to see them, too.
I never got that far.
From Sometimes Gladness: Collected Poems, 1954-1982,
Longman Cheshire Pty Ltd.