Hey mom, is it fascism yet?

(Childhood memories)

Every day, the news
Every season, the clothes
Every year, the weather
Every pundit, with views

When we were children
I surmise
Christmas or birthdays
had a surprise
We could wish
or even pray
wait all year
just for that day.

Growing old,
maybe not up,
Our mother or wife
what we sup.

Now adults
we claim to be
no more waiting
for gifts to see
No more waiting
for what cooks fastest
Just sorely waiting
when it turns fascist.

Among the boxes
Among the tins
Who knows what form
we’ll find it in.

Boiling water
or radiation
Agent Orange
and defoliation
Starving all the Congolese
or trying to infect all Chinese

When the kettle’s
whistle blows
Just like that TV advert shows
In line lying
six feet below
wearing masks
from Amazon bought
the end of all
for which we fought
None of us
will win that bet,
who’s first to ask:
Is it death yet?

Dr T.P. Wilkinson writes, teaches History and English, directs theatre and coaches cricket between the cradles of Heine and Saramago. He is also the author of Church Clothes, Land, Mission and the End of Apartheid in South Africa. Read other articles by T.P..