Today…12th of August 2019
Was the day you should have retired.
The inglorious twelfth when the powerful decide
That the grouse have spent long enough on this earth.
It should have been a national thank you
For a working life spent caring for others.
You left school to work in a mill at fifteen
As a child paying her National Insurance,
A contract undertaken for fifty years hence.
You fulfilled your side of the bargain…
And worked each day of your life ever since;
Whether in shops caring for customers
Or on the road to care for the elderly.
And now, as best as you are able
You help them see out their days
So that other people don’t have to.
You paid your taxes throughout your life
And now at the whim of those who sit on their arse
Desperate to work out ways of not paying theirs,
You find yourself having to work much longer;
Almost another SEVEN fucking years of caring
And yes, there is a need for that kind of language,
As each day you wonder why those you look after
Are now coming in younger than you.
You’ve cared for me and our children
And their children too know of your love.
This is how a lifetime of caring is rewarded
By those that don’t care at all.

© gray lightfoot