Brown Paper Envelopes

DEAR WORKING TAX PAYER.
You would be forgiven for thinking I have a brown envelope licking admirer,
Secretively slotting love declarations through my door
But for me it’s the Department of Work and Pensions. DWP.
‘Don’t Work- We Pay’ I heard you call them today.
But you don’t need to whinge so persistently
Life controlled by DWP is not a nice life for me.
They try to Deny What Practitioners found, these
Diagnoses we still have to prove with our diaries
Documenting the weeks of pain
and the Days which Passed
Doped with Prescriptions.

Don’t Worry so, fearful tax payer, it isn’t as easy as you perhaps thought:
DWP Prod.
DWP have no PITY, they are onto us all.
IT Takes thirty loops of Vivaldi’s four seasons for them to even answer my call.
Do we patiently need to clarify
That healing does not weep from pretentious manila envelopes?
Do they truly believe we will get better between the weekly printed letter?
That drained wallets will make us panic-
Make us drop being ill.
Don’t you think we are preoccupied?
Do you think we are dodging work on purpose?
Dealing drugs at wild Parties?
We only deal with pain.

It’s true.

We claimants do do pills.
We do wild painkiller highs so we can microwave our dinner,
Dole out white spoons of Prozac so we can stop the mental simmer.
Did you know in every doctor’s prescription we hide
a Do it yourself pharmaceutical prayer for healing
That one day we will pull pints or stack shelves.
Don’t you see that if we were better we would waist deep delve
into 12hr shifts- your mundane is our deepest and wildest pillow thought.

You really don’t need to worry dear tax payer:
Life ruled by the brown envelopes’ proclamations
Is a full time job with no vacations
We get told our diagnoses whittle down to pure laziness.
Our scariest symptoms? Just haziness.
Newspapers declare the money is for a plasma TV
and a Mediterranean jaunt to the sea.
The reality is comparatively boring: food, diesel, water and power.
Yet In my hallway these envelopes make me cower.
The letters DWP appear 33 times in the lines of this poem.
On my desk are over 33 pieces of paper marked with those letters and I get no time owin’.

A final parting word, dear, working, tax payer:
Do you see how sickness is a full time job wrought with stigma?
We need to solve this enigma
The vast majority of us are genuinely are unable to work
However with every cut the government asserts
We get a more restricted life and no time to heal.
our illnesses are real.
You can add 2+2.
Tell me, what if illness were to pounce on you?

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