Papa Preaches

A constructed found poem

Sheree Strange

“I can’t stand these people who stand at the corner and start yelling at you about what your views are on a very personal issue, just get out of my face, leave me alone, I will make the decision up myself.”
— Barnaby Joyce, comment on the campaign for marriage equality

Photograph: James Gourley/AAP

Papa, I know you’re going to be upset
This is not a reflection of a civilised society

I was always your little girl
Boy, you caused some problems

But you should know by now
I know a little about a lot

I’m not a baby
I’m the adult here

You always taught me right from wrong
When you’re going to be shouted down is when you’ve got to speak up

I need your help, Daddy, please be strong
It is just philosophically wrong

I may be young at heart
I can’t enforce my views on other people

But I know what I’m saying
I know a lot about politics

We’re in an awful mess
We’ve had a gutfull

Please, Papa don’t preach
I’m not here saying I’m some saint

I’m in trouble deep
You have to continue on

I’ve been losing sleep
Light one candle

Maybe we’ll be all right
This fight goes on for three weeks, for three months, for three years

It’s a sacrifice
I want you to talk to your friends

But my friends keep telling me to give it up
You can’t have that right, that’s not a right you can have

Saying I’m too young, I ought to live it up
You can’t pick your family

What I need right now is some good advice
The greyhound debate was small, this one is massive

Daddy, if you could only see
If it is allowed by law, there is an endorsement

You’d give us your blessing right now
All the best, and God bless, and keep fighting

Please, Papa don’t preach
In the most callous of circumstances

If you could all ask Madonna not to sue me for shamelessly using lyrics from her song, that’d be great. I don’t identify as a poet, but I tweet a lot, and I review books. At the next election, I’ll be voting for the candidate that respects a woman’s right to choose.

Sheree Strange

Written by

Just another millennial who quit a corporate job to chase the dream | Blogging about literature at

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