Dear Barnaby Joyce

Matthew 4:1-11

You say that the tempter

is a young woman

who holds the hand of another woman

because they love each other.

You say that the tempter

haunts a vaccine for cervical cancer

to encourage promiscuity

in young women.

You say that the tempter

threatens traditional family values,

but Barnaby, that isn’t the tempter -

it’s God.

It’s God who cries out

against your hypocrisy

as you defend your right to privacy

after disemboweling

the privacy of the entire queer community.

It’s God who holds the hands

of your wife and daughters

in their abandonment

in the face of the cyclonic public eye.

It’s God who will love your unborn child,

unconditionally, eternally,

regardless of whether you abandon them, too.

It was not the tempter

who ended your marriage, Barnaby -

it was you.

It was you who watched the walls begin to crumble;

you who spotted the crack of light, saw an easy way out;

you who made a daring escape, alone.

One does not live by bread alone,

but Barnaby, a failing marriage does not excuse

a complete disregard for your own high morals.

A failing marriage does not exempt you

from ministerial codes of conduct,

nor protect you from being held accountable

to your own values in public office.

One does not live by bread alone,

but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.

And when a young woman

holds the hand of another woman,

God will be smiling.

#australianpolitics #ashwednesday #lent #poetry

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