New Start (poem)

By Jasmine Shirrefs
newstart
Bob Wang

cw financial hardship

Ingrid’s son is doing an internship with the Herald Sun unpaid
So she’s armed with newspapers free
Spewing onto that table in job club
    Tell us to open to the classifieds
    look for jobs to apply for
But it’s funeral notices
    Vale John Citizen
    Thanks for your contribution
And on the phone and on the couch
In a home where I can hardly meet rent
Four hours disappear ending in stupor
Debate whether to leave the phone to go to loo
    Is it okay if I place you on hold?
    This call is monitored

A metro train trip down to my daytime nightmare
Out-of-work nail technician that sits besides me
She tells me to do something about my cuticles
and I type her resume for her
She’s never used a computer before
    So Ingrid tells her to start a business

  @Centrelink on Twitter
& the social media team has 2-minute turn around
    We’re so sorry you had this experience
    Please do not share your private details over public forum

Paperwork slow and months ago
Cash still hasn’t come
Is it time to move home to Mum?
Stress coldsores and anxiety sweats
Family ties, safety nets
Relative privilege

Tributes, Obituaries and Funeral
    Death Notice
    a new Centrelink email from Robodebt

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