A thatcher is someone who makes a roof
or used to, when things were quieter,
was someone who sheltered people
from the rain, when things were quieter.
A thatcher took folks from the wind
and layered the skin of a human weather.
Now a thatcher exposes the dwellers,
rips off the roof in the skinning wind,
hurls down the roof on the dwellers,
who for cover snatch at the straws
the roof-maker rains
on their rainwashed heads ruthlessly
and in their teeth and in their eyes
like a war
that the thatcher unnaturally makes
on the dwellers. And the luckier
snatching more straw cover of the undoing
thatch, despise the unluckier, the colder ones.
so that some see but many don’t
or do see but not why, and think it
the way of a brave wise thatcher
that their fellows are icy and cold
in an inhuman country.
Published in Virago’s Let’s Pretend, 1984- even before the miners’ strike and the poll tax horror.
She was a politician who, egged on by her Tory big-business chums, swept away the post-war values of community I knew and took for granted. For all its faults, pre-Thatcher
some genuine belief in equality, destroyed in the 80s by Tory governments,
replaced by City greed, and we all know the result- EXCEPT that the bankers
haven’t been dragged kicking and screaming back into a sense of public service.
They must be, if we are ever to get something back of that lost sense of fair
play which even older Tories had. Britain