Poetry

Covid Politics

By Jasmine T. Chin . . .

Illustration by Hayley Clarke . . .

Knock knock
“Who’s there?”
Covid politics
“Covid politics?…What? Who?”
Ha! You’ll see…

Oi you!
Citizen!

“Yes Covid Politics?”

It’s your duty, not ours to
save lives
To hide lies
Whatever your circumstances.
You will clap
to run the country
Into a ground swell of positivity
Heroism our chosen protection
from vulnerability
Feeding the national pride
To keep the economy alive
for our favoured few.
It’s not new

Oi you!
Manager!
Lead from the front
Push up from the rear
of your front room.
Ground down in your seat
You’ll take the heat, to
Keep those voices of doom at bay.
You can do it! Keep going! What a team!
Innovate, maintain!
Feel as I say. Not as I do.

Oi you! Therapist!
Zoom into the mirrored room
It’s you in there too!
Focus, perform, attune
To everything and nothing
All at once.
Rapid adaptation
Framed perfection
Off screen exhaustion.
Smile!

Oi You! Mother!
Nurture, love, educate
Soothe, motivate, confiscate.
Replicate.
Day after day after day
After all
Curriculum success
Is the way to redress
The imbalance. Isn’t it?
More to the point engage, create, bake
The guilt we’ll disseminate
For their sake
Not ours.
No furlough for this task.

Oi you! Supervisor!
Do all of the above
Once or twice a month
(But leave out the love
This is science
In case you needed a clue)

Oi you! Black Life!
We hear, we know.
We kneel
Alongside you
To mask the real
Truth we won’t tolerate.
Diabetes, heart disease,
Vitamin D
Our scientist agree
It’s your responsibility
That’s key.
Eat right, socially distanced sunlight
Let’s leave the PPE.
But please Speak Aloud
Explain, contain
Share the profound
Pain to those who’ll say
They never knew.

“Hey You! Covid Politics!
I see you unmasked
Illuminating the vast
Gulf where diseased actions flourish
Yes Earth is at peace
Free of our rubbish.
But senses are heightened
Multiple lives taken
Forsaken by more than your germs

Will others choose
to see you with me?
We’ll see…”

By Hayley Clarke
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