Lionel Morton, Rosudgeon, Cornwall
To take a big stick or a strap to a child
Who may have been going a little bit wild
Is tantamount to committing a sin
From which there is no recompensing.
Don’t do it, they don’t like it and neither do you
Or are you a perv that needs it to screw
Up the heads of the young as you beat them insane?
Do you get pleasure from delivering pain?
It’s not just the clout the cuff or the smack
How can you tell when a child starts to crack?
A brave child won’t cry, only bitterly resent
The indignity, the injustice of something well meant
That leaves a mark or a scar that’s not visible
In humanitarian terms is this permissible?
Certainly not, it’s wrong; you know this to be true
Supposing your foot were in their shoe
Would you lay in harder or maybe think twice?
After reading this poem that would be nice
There is another way and it’s easier by far
Than physical cruelty that leaves a scar
Understanding what it’s like being so young
Defenceless, helpless on the very first rung
Of a ladder that’s fraught with danger anyway
Let them get on with it, let them out to play
Throw away your stick, your strap and your bat
The whip, the cosh, the thumbscrews and that
Help them to see fair’s fair and right’s right
That way they don’t start to become uptight
The violence in our midst needs to be quelled pretty quick
Otherwise we’re all going to feel a little bit sick
As we turn on each other every man jack of us
The only reason being simply…because.