My teenage son,
my neighbour’s mother lie prostrate
writhed by stark hunger,
waylaid by a Chinese virus.
Either way the outcome is certain – death.

Staying at home is easy if you’ve got
a storehouse of food,
a full shelf of books to read,
a humming box to make voltage that lights
your phone and bulbs to WhatsApp
a friend and URL the world.

Days to come the dead will smile
glad to be at rest, audacious to say:
“I took a bow not because of covid corona
not because of the voiceless gestures of hunger
nor due to the jackboots of those barrack bullies
stationed to enforce lockdown and social distancing
I took a bow because something someday must kill a man!”

(c) Ugo Nkwoala, 2020

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