Maxine Beneba Clarke

no one likes a politician


no matter how good you are, no matter

how hard the job, no matter

               how you serve the public


and whoever you love, and

whatever you’ve done


the press, they’re like bloodhounds

               and they’ll always find it


in the public interest, it’s true


like if your kid’s being teenaged

      just this once


you better believe the herald sun

will go full

               MALIA OBAMA

               SIPS CHAMPAGNE


on you


no one likes a politician


and sure, you can fly the family first class too

but you lose a lot, in public


don’t you

two hundred thousand for an annual wage

but still, you never see the easter hat parade

at your daughter’s school


             you’re always away


marriage break-ups don’t poll well

part of the gig is staying together

                                            everyone knows that by now


the sacrifice


               you’re not

doing it for the pension, anyhow



no one likes a politician


then they retire on an annual lifetime income

               of more than the average national wage

all paid up by the average national taxpayer


while in a new corporate consulting job

               in the same area as their ex-portfolio


no one likes a politician

               but they earn the entitlements, you know

Maxine Beneba Clarke is the author of The Hate Race and Foreign Soil. She is a winner of the Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for Poetry.

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