There’s a new British historical drama series coming to TV soon: Ten Pound Poms. Here is a poem I wrote a long time ago, updated. I’m intrigued to see how it stacks up against the coming drama 😄 My birth mother and half-sister were ten pound poms.
Ten Pound Poms
Crowds line the docks in the nineteen fifties,
waiting to sail to a new land, they’re thrifty;
they’ve paid just a tenner to get on the ship
and want a lot more than just a round trip.
A land called Australia arouses their dreams,
they think with nostalgia of Britain, it seems.
Passports in hands, papers in luggage,
they yearn for the new world, new life, new mortgage.
They spurn the old world, the doled world, the cold world,
they are excited, celebrating,
Citizenship promised after only one year,
and warmth, their skin, bones, eyes become clear,
some will be famous in due course perhaps,
the new life that beckons is free of all traps,
and they dream of fame on the stage or in government,
the future is bright and there will be betterment.
The scheme extends to other nations,
many, it seems, seek a change of location,
“Please stay for two years or refund the money,”
this is the land of milk and honey.
Going to work in a new place,
they’re a new face,
Girl’s Got Rhythm (Black Pear Press, 2012 and 2016) rewritten 2023