A poem by Kevin Higgins.

Easy for the Opposition 
to hang around overheated TV studios, 
spouting impossible promises 
which at this stage sound
like a recorded message from Santa Claus.
But out there, in what I like to call
the world, a constituent of mine
and his wheelchair recently spent
the coldest night of the year
in a discontinued telephone box
and, worse than that, there are people
who have nothing better to do
than use this situation as an excuse
to be atrocious to Government Ministers
on Twitter. 

If we as a country, 
who, relatively speaking, lived mainly
in tumbled-in cottages
and could barely afford trousers
until around about last Friday,
are to get past this glitch 
we need to start thinking
outside the traditional council house –
which, like communism,
selling encyclopaedias door to door,
and National Health glasses,
isn’t coming back.

First thing tomorrow morning
immediately after my Eggs Benedict
I will introduce tax breaks incentivising 
those that have them to rent out every available 
wardrobe and wheelie bin
to those who through some bad life
decision have found themselves caught 
between tiny thousand quid a month

Given the lack of such facilities
in your average wheelie bin or wardrobe,
every qualifying adult will be issued with a potty
which may be emptied anywhere except 
over the Minister for Housing’s head.
And under subsection seven 
of my Housing Emergency Provisions act
infants inconsiderate enough to have been born 
without fixed abode will be confined
to newly tax deductible sideboard drawers
so they won’t grow up
to take more space 
than the world has for them.

Kevin Higgins is a Galway-based poet, essayist and reviewer. Follow him on Twitter @KevinHIpoet1967 or read his blog here.

This poem was commissioned by BBC Radio 4 for its My Modest Proposal series referring to Jonathan Swift’s 1729 satirical essay.

Top image from Jstor.

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