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.

Bruce Dawe

From Sometimes Gladness: Collected Poems, 1954-1982,

Longman Cheshire Pty Ltd.