Notes for my son by Alex Comfort
Remember when you hear them beginning to say Freedom
Look carefully - see who it is that they want you to butcher.
Remember, when you say that the old trick would not have fooled you for a moment
That every time it is the trick which seems new.
Remember that you will have to put in irons
Your better nature, if it will desert to them.
Remember, remember their faces - watch them carefully:
For every step you take is on somebody's body
And every cherry you plant for them is a gibbet
And every furrow you turn for them is a grave.
Remember, the smell of burning will not sicken you
If they persuade you that it will thaw the world.
Beware. The blood of a child does not smell so bitter
If you have shed it with a high moral purpose.
So that because the woodcutter disobeyed
they will not burn her today or any day
So that for lack of a joiner's obedience
the crucifixion will not now take place
So that when they come to sell you their bloody corruption
you will gather the spit of your chest
and plant it in their faces.
From the new anthology Red Sky at Night: Socialist Poetry, edited by Andy Croft and Adrian Mitchell.
£9.99 from Five Leaves Books