Poetry

I Wait

By Rukiya Jemmott . . .


Corona virus, corona virus, corona virus

You cannot see it, or hear it or feel it,

And then it has you, it holds you, it hugs you, it crushes you.


My sister is dying.

I wait

I wait

I wait


I am a key worker, I must work, and help my families and I do,

I am a course lead, I must work and help my students and I do,

I must do even more than I was doing before, and I do.


My sister is dying,

I wait

I wait

I wait


I am a black woman who works and works

I am a black woman I listen and listen

to them, talk about me, talk about my kind

telling us that we are much more likely to die from this disease


My sister is dying,

I wait

I wait

I wait


My load is heavy, and the pain runs deep in my veins

My face only shows what is expected

My face shows what I have learnt to reflect out to the world


My sister is dying.

I wait

I wait

I wait


My sister lives, Corona has set her free

And instead a black man is dead

George Floyd


I am a black woman

I want to live and breathe and hope

Yet the disease of racism is in the air

And then it has you, it holds you, it hugs you, it tries to crush you.


Black lives matter

Black lives matter

Black lives matter

(Image by James West)

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5 thoughts on “I Wait

    • Wooh, I got shivers running around my skin reading this. Yes. It all needs saying, needs knitting together, separating and connecting up again and again. Thank you for this, Rukiya.

    • Loaded with multiple stories, each needing to be told. Capturing a sense of urgency.
      Time!
      The achingly poignant lack of time at a time when we are told we have “time on our hands”.
      Deeply moving. Vitally important.
      I felt connected in multiple ways, especially in relation to personal loss and grief alongside global rage and angst. I wish I could say more, had better words.

    • Thank you for this. It captures so much; things I get, viscerally, and things I need to learn more about and be humble about.

    • This is a beautiful expression Rukiya, of the fears and emergences to more hopeful landscapes we encounter at different times and contexts. It really hit me and I connected with the words in a way that made me stop.

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