In the second poem chosen by our guest editor Jessie Joe Jacobs, poet Rosamund McCullain plays on the meaning of ‘scab’. Worthy words as our university staff continue to strike for their pensions.
Picking that irritating scab and wondering
Can there be new skin underneath? Can
Epidermis and epiglottis renew? Repair the
Raw flayed surface, bring voice to the
Voiceless, release the scream of the downtrodden crowd,
Crushed underfoot as they scavenge for crumbs,
A blot on the shine of your Jimmy Choo shoe,
A stain on the hem of your Savile Row suit.
Yet we are human too, would dream had we the
Chance, dream of a home safe as houses,
Dream of open doors and opportunities, access
All areas, not pushed to the side, side-lined,
Side-tracked, scrabbling on our knees and having to
Fight for what you take for granted. Who is the scab?
Is it us with our different minds and bodies and our demands
For a half-decent life? Or is it you? Hoarding your piles
And power and yelling “Hands off! Hands off!”.