Mark Brophy

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The Pilate State


In the shadow of a woman
he aches to emulate,
to bask in her dull glory he
revives the Pilate State.

Her baleful influence persists,
unstressed but not laid low,
privileged power wash their hands
of those they cannot know.

Compassion in a rictus mask
to fool the poor and frail,
Behind the new facade of care
Old certainties prevail:

“Deserving poor do not exist
Preserve the class divide
Protect those who don’t need the help
Cast those who do aside”

The gambler’s purse was guaranteed,
no gamble then at all.
A lucky few had jackpot wins ,
the house absorbs the fall.

These moneylenders felled the walls
insisting on repair,
So that they can destroy again –
is that what they call fair?

The patients blamed for the disease,
their tonic is the cause,
the undertrained physician must
not run his course, but pause.



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