Wholly Innocent

I never walked abroad in air
I never saw the sky Nor knew
the sovereign touch of care
Nor looked into an eye

I never chose, nor gave consent
Nor voted on my fate
Unseen, I came, unseen I went
Too early and too late

This was my life-line trust
As absolute as blood
Now down in the bucket thrust
Anonymous as mud

Oh you within whose God-like power
Lies to so decide
Remember me when, some late hour
Talks turn to genocide

For I was part of that doomed race
Whose death-cell was the womb
But who can clear a bloody space
And call it living room

I never had a name or cried
That central cry "I am"
But in a world-wide shambles died
Defenceless as a lamb

And many called it self-defence
And many ZPG
And all was done at my expense
At the total cost of me

Remember me next time you
Rejoice at sun or star
I would have loved to see them too
I never got that far

--Bruce Dawe


Rosy said...


My names Rosy, and I'm writing an essay on this poem, which is how i stumbled on your blog. I chose it because it reminded me of one of my favourite poems, "Unto Us" by Spike Milligan.

Just thought you might like to check that one out too...

Oh and btw, the first line in the second stanza, that last word is "assent" not "consent", even though they mean the same.

But I think its awesome that you've got this up.

Okay, thats about all I have to say, so this little comment by a complete stranger is finished...

Over and out


Hannah619 said...


Im Hannah and my class looked at this poem in English Literature. W might have 2 write on it ion our exam, thts hows i found ur blog.

this poem was reely challenging 2 me and also my family, i got them too read it too. My mum started crying....

The way its spoken through a child was so effective and makes the whole poem so much more alive. If ur interested Bruce Dawe also wrote the poem Mary and the Angel which deals with the whole idea of conception and scietific research.

Its reely interesting, but yeh jus writing cos i reely liked this poem and it made a big impact on me.

Its good having out on your blog so hopefully more and more people will read it, and hopefully give them the idea tht this is actually whats happening.


Unknown said...


I'm Connor


Unknown said...