For almost 40 years since the war
the country had been ruled by men who had been to war
conservatives – left and right
who proclaimed democracy
but wished it wasn’t so democratic.
Fogged in monochromatic boredom
voters distal to war memory
yearned for colour
for divorce from grey besuited complacency.
He was the precisely what hope was seeking
someone with a mortgage
someone who understood hopes were not dreams
a plainsman who did burgers and beer – for enjoyment, not photo ops.
At town halls unfilled for decades
queues formed to hear the vision.
The future could be now.
just reach out and touch the ballot box
election day and landslide to electorate euphoria.
Should outrage have been surprised
when the secret pact with monetarism was revealed?
Discretion often colludes with disclosure
interviewees do not expound weakness
sellers volunteer value lowering flaws.
The nation never quite forgave the consenting hypocrisy
more got over it
there was even clenched teeth acknowledgement
some reform was necessary and overdue.
The real victim wasn’t job loss
or stratospheric mortgage rates
or destruction of single industry small towns
it was optimism.
David Lange shared the stage with glittering hope
and dismembered his co-star so viscerally
no sequel was ever possible.