The Working Class Generation

a poem by Jan Oskar Hansen

We who left school in 1960 without
Honours and degrees, had dreams when
We filled factories and building sites
With youthful laughter which soon
Stopped when run over by the juggernaut
Of life, marriage and a high rise flat.
Later when work dried up, no skills no
Education and too old for a new job,
Divorce, queuing at the dole a flight
Into booze, walking the streets of rue,
F*** it all and waiting for tomorrow.
Lady of Mercy, only one dream left,
That of coming up on the pool, quid’s
In, a round of drinks for the mates in
The pub and self-respect; we know it
Won’t happen but dream we must, or
Be flotsam in streets of regrets where
It’s always gloomy and eyes have lost
The sheen of hope