Captain Teflon at the Bali Memorial

Captain Teflon
wears a sprig of wattle
on his enamelled heart.

All power to him —
with enough emotional oil
to stir-fry the next election win.

We know the tears are genuine —
for headlines
that to him are all too kind —

Even now he freshens
the duality —
we are tough but caring.

The poor at home
know one side of his personality.
No prize for guessing which.

These people may not be rich
but their loved ones died elsewhere
and it’s someone else’s fault.

There’s nothing like a common foe
to booster his opinion poll.
When Captain Teflon’s tears begin to flow

I feel nothing but a slow contempt
and know I am boiling this poem
for the breached homeless

and the patients on the waiting lists
who die in everyday
anonymous shifts

with no camera
to witness their pain
they got all the tough they could handle.

But today is not his day
and I know this must wait,
because all that’s needed

on the twelfth of October
is 202 (not 88)
seconds of silence.

Sara Moss