When I was a child, my mother pointed to the sadness
in the eyes of aborigines. I had only just learned that the girl,
with whom I shared my lunch, had a different coloured skin.
Meanwhile, in Geography, I learnt how laws had banned child labour.
No more children would go blind knotting carpets for the rich.
Never again would a child cough coal dust into his sheets.
By the time I was of age, the sexual revolution, pill, and women’s rights,
had given me freedom and autonomy. Any minute now
there would be true worldwide gender equality.
1975 and one white man poured sand into the hand
of one black man and, any minute now,
the sadness would disappear from their eyes
There was the international year for human rights,
the year for education, the year for the rights the child,
for women, the disabled, for peace, for indigenous peoples.
It was the age of Aquarius and, any minute now,
world leaders would truly begin to care for the least fortunate,
any minute now, any minute now.