Workfare by Caroline Stockford

I am not a silent poet

In the plyboard, sealed-off,
metal-chequered
tree
the monkeys,
the ones who look like Elvis,
cannot abide unfairness.

One levers his forearm down through
the outside
air that’s bright with chemicals and piss,
his four slim licquorice fingers and
revolutionary thumb unfold like
lily’s black stamens and ask
for apple.
Denied by the beast outside the bars
he’s fed instead by a fast pass from his neighbour.

The Frequently Asked Questions section of the Department of
Work and Pensions’ Workfare website is over 10,000 words long
Capuchins cannot abide unfairness.

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