When I was small, I didn’t think it strange at all
To be told what to do and say
And so, I was cocooned in my world
Although poor, we were warm and well fed, each day.
School was challenging, scary with strange rules
That nobody explained to me – why I had to …
Shut up, sit up straight, don’t think, keep your place
Break a rule and see what you get – a slap in the face!
Working days were hard, long hours and dirty
In for a lifetime of grind and providing
Fighting to safeguard a living, amidst plutocrats
So I became a left-wing socialist activist.
I learnt the trade union ways of defending injustice
Objecting to anything that was not agreed
Under free collective bargaining protections
Many managers, despaired at my intransigence.
At last, still only quite young, I retired at fifty,
Management pleased to see me go
My comrades, not so pleased
Three decades of battles won and lost then pass.
Ten years a Labour Councillor steeped in politics
Two more as a Socialist Councillor, finished that journey
Then for twelve years I set up and ran a housing business
Finally retiring at the age of seventy two.
Well that just about sums up this adventure
How long it might be before a new adventure begins
I won’t know until my new days start afresh
But once more I suppose, I’ll have to learn
Another new Life Lesson.