Google+ Followers

Friday, 15 September 2017

Joyce

Joyce



There was fire drill today in the hot sun of Qatar.

So, all the kids chittered and lined up gamely

falling in year by year, the youngest at the front.

The Headteacher spoke to all assembled, timing the practice,

unfamiliar bird call cladding the playground

as the boys fell silent, listening.

It felt like a million years from London,

for a second. Then the children marched inside.




A million years from where a little girl’s hand

slipped from her Daddy’s grasp

and he had clutched it so terribly tightly.

Running together from choking smoke,

hopskotching the stairs, two at a time,

hacking up the drowning lungfuls,

toxic, carbon, persevering the lethal smog:

but progress was so very heavily disguised.



Chaos. And a little girl’s hand slipped.



And he said: Joyce. Yes, of course we should remember.

But calmly, rationally. Strong and stable, without

this community undermining my impartiality.

Weep, if you must, of anger and betrayal,

But life goes on, so sing as well.

There was fire drill today in the hot sun of Qatar.

It felt like a million years from London,

for a second. And the children marched inside.