Tuesday, 16 December 2014


Just an ordinary day, in an ordinary place.
A venue we have used many times before.
SuddenlyI don't want to be here any more,
but I can't just walk out of the door...

It could have been you,
it could have been me,
or any member of our family.
In a familiar place,
or somewhere we have never been before.
Selected at random.
Suddenly we abandon
hope of getting out of here alive.
This wasn't supposed to happen!
I never would have darkened the door
or walked across the floor,
if I had known those steps were taking me
to fear and pain and death,
rather than a latte or a cup of tea.

If only I had stayed home
and lived to grow old,
instead of being a hero.
Dying to protect a friend,
Trying to protect my staff

Dying for a cause I believed in,
though no-one was listening
except me,
to the tortured thoughts
that pass through my head.

When you left this morning,
it was just another day.
Classes, assignments, homework.
Snatching a joke with a friend
Did I think it would end
with so many dead?
The fear and the injustice,
of such indiscriminate attack,
against those who cannot fight back,
and are gunned down before they had a chance
to make a difference to the world.
The cost of education in a war-torn land

It's the Taliban
in Pakistan.
Snatching away the lives of  the 141.
Who will remember this pain and sorrow
beyond tomorrow?
But we will remember Sydney,
because it could have been you or me
or a member of my family,
having a coffee.

...and the unspoken reasons
why we will remember 3
rather than 141
are colour and culture :(