The Work Ethic
Democracy is vulnerable to viruses,
health problems, cancers;
to having its legs blown away,
its tongue severed.
It can be seen on crutches at demonstrations,
on Zimmer frames in workplaces.
It never applies for a sick-note
or a chance to doss on a beach.
When depressed it thinks of its childhood
in Greek states,
teenage years in communes.
You'd think it would seek a pension
but it wakes daily to a bowl of porridge,
goes off to work whistling.
Owen Gallagher was born in Gorbals, Glasgow. He has family in Donegal and Leitrim and lives in London, where he worked as a primary teacher in Southall, London. His most recent poetry collection A Good Enough Love was recently published by Salmon.