A poem I have waited thirty-one years to write

She has been sick so long that we forget
how much we hate her still, how ever much
her sense of self grows vague, or out of touch
with her bleak legacy she seems. And yet –

there is no yet, no pity. She was not
the kind to pity, thought such feelings weak,
the rust that eats the iron. You might seek
in vain for mercy in her. She forgot

so many things before she lost her mind,
that markets are just people, that no war
is ever won, that what has come before
always returns, and not to be unkind,

and so, no mercy to her. Watch her breath
stutter and fade, then drink toasts to her death.


About rozkaveney

Middleaged, trans, novelist, poet, activist
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41 Responses to A poem I have waited thirty-one years to write

  1. I’ll put this with Attila the Stockbroker’s song about her.

  2. khalinche says:

    For a second there I thought she’d actually popped her evil clogs. See you at the party in Trafalgar Square when she does!

  3. redbird says:

    I’ll drink to that.

  4. the_maenad says:

    For a few seconds there (not having checked any news sources tonight before glancing at my friendspage) I was seized by the presumption that she was actually gone at last. And then I read it properly and oh well… but it’s still spot on target. Your poetry continues to ring that bell almost every single time. WHEN IS A BOOK OF IT COMING OUT eh?

  5. maellenkleth says:

    Thank you, Roz! That is so utterly spot-on!

  6. heyiya says:

    Oh yes, yes, yes. Sums it up perfectly.

  7. Very good. Very good indeed.

    I don’t agree with the sentiments: to hate someone is to waste emotion.

    But as a piece of writing, a work of art, this is crisp and beautiful. In fact, the emotion behind the poem seems to put a coiled spring into the words. So perhaps not such a waste.

    • rozkaveney says:

      Re: Very good. Very good indeed.

      I am not entirely happy with my own emotions on this, but feel them so deeply that I have to accept them. And yes, there is a passion here that is good for my work, which can be a little etiolated.

      Writing it I was thinking of Shelley’s England 1819 and the fact he had hope and I right now have none.

  8. I watched the Politics show about her 85th birthday (for reasons I shall not go into here but will be clear to people who know what my new job is). The studio presenter spoke about her as if she was already dead.

  9. vampirefever says:


    *fills up glass and waits*

  10. cmcmck says:

    Ouch! But yes!

    But the great British public vote the same old same old (plus Lacquai the lapdog, beribboned top knot aquiver) back in again and then rage and scream at the predictable result :oZ

    Sigh :o(

  11. yabyumpan says:

    My immediate thought when I watched the news was “YES!” and then I felt guilty at taking pleasure in another person’s suffering….but still, if I feel guilty about taking pleasure, I just can’t summon up compassion. I don’t know if people who didn’t live through the 80’s in Britain can understand. She consciously and with malice-a-fore-thought, destroyed the Britain I grew up in. I can never forgive her for what she did to this country and her legacy which still echos today in the greed of the city and the despair of the underclass she helped to create.

  12. deborahw37 says:

    I will never forgive her or forget the damage she did, the misery she caused

    Neither will I sink to her level by abandoning my compassion and in any way celebrating her age and infirmity.

    I will not drink to her passing but neither will I mourn her

    And if she is given a state funeral I will protest.

  13. papersky says:

    I can’t hear her voice, a recording of her voice, without tensing up.

  14. cakmpls says:

    This USian had to think a bit to figure out who the subject is, but I immediately admired the poetry.

    • autopope says:

      Here’s a clue: many of us in the UK who have a visceral reaction to her voice have the same visceral reaction to the voice of George W. Bush.

      … Except we had to put up with her for nearly 12 years.

      • womzilla says:

        We had Reagan, followed by Bush, followed by Gingrich, followed by Bush, a not-yet-ended spiraling suckhole of hatred, stupidity, and cupidity, each worse than the predecessor* and dragging the country down.

        *That’s slightly unfair to George Herbert Hoover Bush, but only slightly.

        Not that the post-Thatcher rules of the UK have been much better, but Blair at his worst wasn’t as bad as W. at his best.

    • kip_w says:

      By the third stanza, I was pretty sure, and that was after coming in thinking it was something else.

      I don’t think (responding to someone else now) that hate is too strong for the damage she did, and the relish she took in doing it.

  15. teenygozer says:

    Reminds me of how I felt upon hearing about Ronald Reagan’s dementia & death. Seriously, just replace “she” with “he” and I’m there. There’s a ton of people in the US who don’t merely lionize him, they pretty much sanctify him, and for my part it’s just: NONONO!

    Beautifully done poem, though!

  16. lexin says:

    Yes. Definitely.

  17. cattitude says:

    Maggie’s finally on her way out? Let’s have a party!

  18. nomaduk says:

    There is a serious pint waiting for the news. And, yes, I’ll be celebrating the death of another. And, no, I don’t care. And, yes, should I get the chance to piss on her grave, I’ll take it. So sue me.

  19. Anonymous says:

    If only

    If only Thatcher could truly die.

    But like Reagan she’ll continue.

    Dangerous zombies.

  20. And now she’s gone, & this poem is perfect.

  21. Thank you for this — it puts into words so well what I feel — about her, and Reagan, and both the Bushes.

  22. Anonymous says:

    I ain’t gonna work on maggies farm no more !!!!

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