The Speaker

Will you walk by?
Past the girl broken and battered
Fallen in the gutter
Not I said the man
The liberal
Lover of women

Women are our future
He called down
From his lofty pedestal
I am for all women
He said
And his oration carried
Over the waves

The hours passing
While we listened to his drone
And the girl in the gutter
Bled out
And still he spoke
Of championing
Of cause and effect
Of equality
And liberation

His words so full
But empty of value
And the shelters closed
And the convictions stayed
Woefully low
And the rapes continued
And the pay cheques fell
Woefully short
Of those of his and his fellow men

And still he spoke
Filibustering us into
Promises of a life of fairness
A fantasy land
Of silver and gold

He spoke for so long
And for so loud
He failed to spot
The mass exodus
The broken leaving
Through the back door

Exhaustion to last a lifetime
With no hope
In the speaker
And his hollow promises
We left
Safer on our own

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