No Heart-Warming Stories

My lover puts a knife to wrist

As muttered love songs pass his lips.

My mother waits beside the phone

And father leaves the house alone.

My sister watches homemade tapes

And laughs as tears stream down her face.

My driver's license bears a different name.

The garbage trucks have broken down,

The city shops are closing now.

The newspapers are black and white,

Displaying what went wrong that night.

Our world is full of doubts and fears,

Our generation drowned in tears.

But Santa Claus ain't comin' Christmas Eve.

Our garden's dead, our house a mess,

The debt collector's not impressed.

They're burning books out in the streets,

Along with Mum's embroidered sheets.

We've aged forever overnight,

Now squinting at the dawn's harsh light.

They sit down dazed in the filthy gutters.

The doors are locked, the lights are off,

The President has just been shot.

Our peace and freedom are a joke,

The Queen herself has gone stone broke.

So run along the streets and scream,

But it's too real to be a dream.

Too bad the rent is three weeks overdue.

My lover puts a knife to wrist

As muttered love songs pass his lips.

My mother sits beside the door,

And Dad lies dead on someone's floor.

My sister watches the world burn,

And prays that we can take our turn.

Perhaps our lives have always been this way.

Alanna Broome