Listen to the poem “For the bus drivers” here, or read it below:

no war but the class war, scoffed

the Conservative Members of Parliament whose

laughter rang round the Chamber

hardee har har har

when Amarjeet Sohi rose

to lay a metaphorical rose

in tribute to a bus driver murdered

by a passenger

in Winnipeg

a few cold days earlier

 

Amarjeet had barely introduced himself as a former bus driver

when the guffaws came loud, clear and derisive:

even now i feel the shame of it.

the very definition of insult to injury

the very definition of rank hypocrisy

these greasy right-wing fucks lying claim to

anti-elitism

and speaking for the common Joe

 

well the common Amarjeet is a bus driver

the common Talisha is a fast food worker

the common Omar is a farm worker

and some of them dare to be common

in the House of Commons no less

 

all them, all us

invisible indispensable workers

whose own sense of entitlement might be muted sometimes

perhaps we save our own scoffings for private places

to murmur

our own cries

or whispers

no war

but the class war

in the privacy of our living rooms

in the weepublics of our pubs

or in the fake newsfeeds of our Facebook groups

as we struggle with what to do

 

what do we do with Conservative leitches

stirring bad blood and sowing seedses

of hate and death-making whitenesses

 

we confront them.

with our own songs

our own guffaws

our own shitty mobile poetry

shooting words out the barrels of our thumbs

 

we name them

and we shame them

and we consign them

to the dustbin

 

because history is no passenger

history drives the bus

 

 

For the bus drivers

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