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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Literary Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
While backbenchers in Australian politics get $131,900 a year tax-free, the unemployed get less than $12,000 to live on. If this is insufficient CentreLink will laugh in your face as you beg for help. And unlike other countries, if you cannot pay your rent and move into the streets in Australia, you lose your pension when you cannot give a fixed address.

Submitted: January 29, 2011

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Submitted: January 29, 2011



When I say, “I’m desperate,”
They smile and say, “I know,”
When I ask for a little succour
They smile and then say, “No!”

 They’re smiling at my poverty
They’re smiling at my pain,
I tell them that I’m starving
So they smile, and smile again.

They smile to see me suffer
And when I ask for help,
They say they’d like to help me, but
“You’ve got to help yourself!”

I live in utter destitution
Well below the poverty line,
I try to make them care a bit
But they smile and say, “That’s fine.”

They smile to see me bleeding
Half-dead on
Melbourne’s streets,
They smile and say they cannot
Help me back onto my feet.

© Copyright 2011
Philip Roberts

© Copyright 2017 Philip Roberts. All rights reserved.

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