Small Change

On a New Year’s Day
with good men
and their sons
dead in the flames
and burning wind
and bloody sun
and ember storms.
After the city
throws a party.
When our leaders
choke on marketing
When what we need
is truth in action,
truth in words.
When our hearts
are full of ash. 
When the brave 
are bested
in a black afternoon
in a wish for rain
in a government act
that amounts to
small change.
I read the news
of men and boys
that died 
this summer,
their lovers,
wives and children,
their children
not yet born.
And all our empty leaders
and the taste of smoke
and ash
in all their words.

– Mark Mordue ©

Published in the Sydney Morning Herald’s Spectrum pages here.