Owed to Carers

Photo by Museums Victoria on Unsplash

Performed at “Owed to Carers”, a fundraiser by Word travels

Toni’s pulled a double shift again
A new graduate-
she’s meant to be point eight

But the mental health system
is just insane
(And this is before the second wave)

This is for her
And for everyone whose
paying for this crisis
While not being paid enough

[to the metre of Ode to Joy, sing it if you like]

Doctors, nurses, we adore thee
through the gore and through the pus
Pulling doubles for your troubles
to your hands ourselves we trust

Dealing with our fear and sadness
night on night and day on day
in our grief and in our madness
for sane ratios we pray


Stackers, sweepers, check-out keepers
Guardians of the last loo roll
Dealing with the trolls and freakers
Surely that must take a toll

With the rage and anger mounting
worst of everyone you see
Thank you for the risks your taking
On behalf of them and me

Teachers and all child carers
The economy can’t rest
Helping others earn a living
On and offline, you’re the best

You are fathers, sisters mothers
Care for yours then care for mine
And good luck, with all the others
Getting paid your overtime


School bus heaves around the corner
Last month not a seat was free
Children breathing laughing sneezing
To maintain economy

How many lungfuls of their air
Of the little bits of phlegm
Does the driver breath in, in there
Now that school is on again?

So this is my ode to carers
Til this crisis has gone past
Thanks for be-ing our risk bearers
Til we can breathe free at last

Now this poem song is ending
People here know what to do
To you all our love we’re sending
All this applause is for you


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