IT’S HARD TO BELIEVE                                                                                                          


It’s hard to believe I’m redundant,

My productive worth measured by age.

My best before date now expired,

In reality I’m now retired.


I heard my name mentioned,

Then saw it on a list.

Pinned to the wall,

Next to the toilet,

At the end of my last shift.


I try to break it to my wife,

Who makes my lunch

Then says good bye,

Each morning as I live a lie;

Unbeknown to her and others,

In parks, where daughters, sons

And lovers,

Remind me of my younger self,

Before I wound up on the shelf.


The repugnant smell of indolence

Overwhelms me now.

Where once was drive

And ambition;

I face a constant war of attrition.


The merciless grind of

This routine

Suspends me betwixt and between

That bottomless pit of helpless rage,

Where lives of indeterminate age

Pass each other on the street.

Where do they go? Who do they meet?


Should I join the cafe culture,

On a cappuccino high?

Take a book, sit in the corner

And watch the world pass by?


Reflect on days that might have been,

When prospects all were bright.

Instead of trying to find the words

To tell my wife tonight.



WORK IN PROGRESS.......... ►


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trevor homer

Fri 15th Mar 2019 11:17

Having worked with supporting individuals who are unemployed and seeking work; I feel fortunate not to have experienced the anxiety of age discrimination when seeking work. This is an observational poem which I am pleased has been well received.
Though I have experienced redundancy, I decided to see it as a form of liberation which spurred me on to other, more rewarding ventures. I do, however, empathises with anyone who through no fault of their own, find themselves economically, emotionally and physically deprived of the ability to enjoy the rewards of a productive work life. In solidarity....

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M.C. Newberry

Thu 14th Mar 2019 16:53

The injustice of being prevented from working and earning income
through one's own efforts and talents must be like an acid eating away at self-respect and sense of worth. I am older than Keith but
can easily imagine how such a situation must bring on feelings of
resentment when someone WANTS to work and can't find the
opportunity. In retirement I've surrendered a fondness for beer in
a friendly pub but I've gained health-wise, with useful financial increases in other avenues along life's highway. My culinary
interests are modest and I'm happy with the most basic food, of which, happily I am also very fond. It helps too that it is cheap and
it's rare that a day's food costs much more than a fiver when
checking monthly accounting in that area.. Adaptability seems to be the secret of success when trying to make ends meet,
with deprivations in some directions becoming advantages in others.


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keith jeffries

Thu 14th Mar 2019 15:33


This poem could have been tailor made for me. I am 71 years and any attempt to find a job has been a futile effort. They say there is no age discrimination....well there is, believe you me. I have pensions, which I took out during my working life, to ensure a reasonable degree of comfort in my old age, but now they are insufficient. I spend each day as if I am under house arrest. A pint of Guinness and an orange juice for my partner is 6.40p, more than half our allotted money for the day´s food. I am often filled with rage. I feel duped and let down. Yet, your poem helped me realise that I am not alone. We are many

Thank you for this


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