Is freedom born in a fire burning a palace?
They said that he died, the old man from the flats
Diabetic and eighty, he fitted the stats
An ambulance came, was a call from his daughter
They took him away, Covid lamb to the slaughter
Connected by wires to machines made by Dyson
No time for goodbye or a kiss from his grandson
‘We did all we could, please prepare for the worst’
They’ve said it so often the lines feel rehearsed
Another bed empty, another one bagged
Another confirmed, another toe tagged.
No poem by Auden, no black horse with feathers
The only respects are for distancing measures
We scuttle from houses like terrified spiders
To clap the front line, as it serves to remind us
We’re here, still alive, and not yet met our fate
Then return to our fears at one-minute past eight.