One vote is all we have

With the Federal election looming in Australia, Good Samaritan Sister Marie Casamento offers us all – but particularly politicians, candidates and voters – a prayerful poem to ponder.

BY Marie Casamento SGS*

“Teacher,
we know you are
a man of impartiality.”
Impartiality –
so simple,
so clear,
so profound.
No slogans.
No promises unkept.
No platitudes.
Impartiality.
Impartiality.

“Render to Caesar.”
To whom?
To Caesar.
Who are the Caesars today?
And what do they want in return?
The overseas multinationals
building empty apartments in the air?
The mining giants raping the earth
and destroying the ecosystems?
The upper echelons
of the wealthy,
whose taxes are tabulated
at a minimum?
“And the widow
dropped
a few small coins
into the bowl.”

A mother tries to pacify
three young children
in a crowded
emergency room.
Whatever became of Medicare?

The waves engulfed
the shore,
swallowing the houses
built on sand,
while the reef,
as if embarrassed by the greed,
the complacency,
turned even whiter.

Slogans.
Platitudes.
Promises.
Flights criss-crossing the continent,
buzzing frantic bees
looking to harvest one more vote,
carrying desperate Caesars
of all persuasions.
Women in helicopters fade
from memory
as these Caesars
fight for our votes
at our cost!

Taxes.
Taxes.
Taxes!
Promises.
Promises.
Promises!
By 2010
no child
will live in poverty!
Indigenous and refugee children
imprisoned by Caesars’ partiality
wait upon their will.

We have
but one vote,
one talent.
Will we
use it wisely?

I wonder?
We have but one vote.
Will we use it wisely?
For this we pray.

* Marie Casamento is a Good Samaritan Sister who works as an art psychotherapist.

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The Good Oil, June 21, 2016. If you would like to republish this article, please contact the editor.

2 Responses to “One vote is all we have”

  1. Gerri Boylan says:

    Dear Marie,
    Thank you so much for such a perceptive, courageous and direct expression of how our country is at the moment. Gerri

  2. Julie Allen says:

    Great poem! Thank you, Marie.

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