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Twas One Day After Heartbreak

January 18, 2012

This was originally posted at Disability Voices last February, as part of the Broken Of Britain’s One Month Before Heartbreak blogswarm. The original title was Twas One Month Before Heartbreak.

I’ve been looking for a reason to repost it here ever since, but until today, there has never been a better one. This minor rewrite of the piece seems appropriate today, after last night’s defeat in the Lords for disability campaigners and common sense. It’s also a celebration of the protest that took place yesterday outside the Lords, but got no coverage.


‘Twas One Day After Heartbreak

‘Twas one day after heartbreak, and all through the town
Bloggers were blogging stories of their own
The stories were written with love and with care
And knowledge that heartbreak was already there

The children were settled all snug in their beds
But nightmares of heartbreak raced round in their heads
Mothers in dresses, dads in baseball caps
Were woken by tears from dreams and from naps

Out in the streets there was such a clatter
That the mainstream came out to see what was the matter
Over to windows they ran in a flash
Tore open shuttters and pulled up the sash

The sun, making slush of old melted snow,
Gave a fake brightness to the cold streets below
And what to their wondering eyes should appear
But eight wheelchair users, in a row, free of fear

With little old carers quite lively and quick
And a young man with a guide dog and a little white stick
More rapid than eagles the little group came
Screaming and shouting, calling Government Ministers by name

“Now Cameron, Osborne and IDS too
Miller, you’ve joined them, we were counting on you!
To the back bench, or the end of the Earth,
Go anywhere you like, our votes you’re not worth!”

At high speed those wheelchairs flew
The guide dog, the white stick and the young man too
Demanding the money they needed to live
That the Ministers threatened no longer to give

Once they had called it DLA
Now they had decided to take it away
These people protested to stop its replacement
With something called PIP- a seed?- at my basement

They were dressed in fur from their head to their feet
Their clothes were covered in old snow and new sleet
I noticed laptops and mice on their laps
And walkers with cameras taking some snaps

To post on their blogs tomorrow, no doubt
To speak the thousand words of a long day out
Their hands they were joined in friendship forever
I didn’t think they would give up, not never!

Not till they got what they wanted, at least
To keep DLA, then they’d pay for a feast
They smiled up at me as they raced out of sight
Saying “Help us keep DLA, please, you know it’s right!”

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