Past has meaning

foto un-attributable credit

Past has meaning

My great grandmother marked an X

on her marriage certificate

for her name

my grandfather left school

aged nine to work in the pit.

My father left school

twelve years old

my mother did the same.

Think about that

what it meant

what it means now.

She called herself

a local historian

described my family

as no better than terrorists

“After all it’s

what they were.”

Churchill called them

the two most dangerous men

in Great Britain

at a time of widespread poverty

fighting for a fair wage

when mothers starved

and infant mortality

an epidemic

She gave herself

a grand title

some might say

totally unearned

reducing the miners

fight for a living wage

to something dishonorable

from her understanding

limited as it must have been

to words on a page

A person responsible

for deaths

from starvation

of millions

is a terrorist

a mass murderer

ask the people of Bengal

I don’t need a book

to decide about that.

Our peoples history

isn’t taught to our children

history is past

they’re taught the history of class

a view from where the rulers stand

where our people are invisible

Past has meaning

the past hasn’t gone away.

Miners After the Vote to Strike Credit Rhondda Cynon Taf Library Services Photographic Archive
Two Most Dangerous Men Credit Rhondda Cynon Taf Library Services Photographic Archive

©robcullen11082021

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