Richard Pierce

Life, Poetry, Politics

These Dead

All the clapping hypocrisy to one side, carers and NHS staff are underpaid and undervalued, and dying. This is for them, about them.

These Dead

These dead live in pebble-dashed houses
They leave at unearthly hours
To save lives at every call.

These dead live in terraces, cheek by
Fevered cheek with the living
They have had to leave behind.

These dead live in the old ghettoes
Where money never finds its way,
And visit food banks to fight their hunger.

These dead don’t have a living wage,
Because no-one pays them enough
To stay alive, and duty doesn’t pay.

These dead leave the lives behind
They saved, and their dawn is silent
As they file out in solitary rows.

 

A slightly edited version of the original I read on Radio Stradbroke on 23rd April.

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