Covid – In Memoriam

Joseph Healy writes in our poem of the month section.

Along the dark waters of the Thames stands the memorial
Long it stretches along the wall bordering the hospital 
Where many it commemorates spent last hours 
Alone terrified struggling for life with every breath

Thousands of hearts adorn its surface 
Some once bright red now a pale shade of pink
Others gone so faint 
Like memories of the lives spent in safer times

Names given meaning by messages of love
A dear father, taken too soon, missed by all
Taken by a visit to the shop, a drink in the pub
A chat in a neighbour’s house a queue in the post office

Everyday acts innocent before 
now poisoned with death’s sharp arrow
Nurses bus drivers shop assistants laboured through the lockdowns
Could not escape the locking down of life of breath

On the opposite bank of the Styx sits the grand palace
Site of endless talk and lies
Whose masters watched indifferent as wretches struggled
Gasping desperately for air clutching at the straw

For them the dollar and the pound the sandwich shops 
The heaving pubs the cut and thrust of commerce and commute
The centre of a universe of Moloch which suffering and loss do not touch
Nor tears nor entreaties move from its predetermined axis

The graves stand silent the mourners gone
Accusingly the monument stares across
Waiting the moment of truth when accounts will be settled 
And murderers names writ large in blood upon its tragic surface

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Joseph Healy is a member of Anti*Capitalist Resistance.

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