Homage to a Government – Nick Barth

Next year we are going to bring the gold star home
for want of sovereignty, and it is alright.
Places we lived, or travelled to freely
must live by themselves, and welcome others freely.
We want the sovereignty for ourselves at home
instead of sharing it, and this is alright.

It’s hard to say who wanted it to happen,
but now it’s been decided, nobody minds.
The places are a long way off, not here,
which is alright and from what we hear
the sovereignty only caused us trouble.
Next year we shall be easier in our minds.

Next year we shall be living in a country
that brought a gold star home for want of money.
The other stars will still be flying on the same
flags on foreign embassies, and look nearly the same.
Our children will not know it’s a different country.
All we can hope to leave them now is a little sovereignty.

(with thanks to Philip Larkin)

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