We’re All Doomed! A (silly) poem by John Boyne

On Twitter, there’s less of the fighting and hating
Since everyone started their self-isolating.

The kitchen’s been scrubbed, and the house has been cleaned
From the moment we all found ourselves quarantined.

I’ve run out of vegetables, fresh fruit and meat
The Deliveroo man leaves my food on the street.

The roads are all empty, the streets are deserted
It’s actually lovely for those introverted.

I can’t go to pubs or away on vacation
I’m saving a fortune in self-isolation.

The gyms have been closed and the schools have been shut
You can’t get a facial, massage or haircut.

(Which doesn’t concern me, I really don’t care,
For once, it’s a plus to have lost all my hair.)

We can’t meet our friends or complete daily tasks
We need Michael Jackson’s collection of masks.

I’m hoping my dry cough does not become wheezing
My elbow is already sore from my sneezing.

My boyfriend’s in England and I’m in Rathfarnham
Our Skype interaction’s become quite alarming.

Tom Hanks getting hit left me down in the dumps
You’d think it could aim for the Putins or Trumps.

The papers are cautious with stories they carry
It’s not just all William, Kate, Meghan and Harry.

Wherever I go, people say ‘keep your distance’
Which makes for a gloomy and humdrum existence.

In Tesco’s they’ve rationed the beans and loo roll
Which, taken together, is really quite droll.

There’s shows coming live from a kitchen or shed
By Friday, Pat Kenny will broadcast from bed.

I re-watched Contagion, I’d seen it before,
With Gwyneth, Matt Damon, Kate Winslet, Jude Law

But mostly I’m steering away from sad dramas
(And this from the fellow who wrote Striped Pyjamas.)

I try to keep active, I have to remember
This thing might go on all the way to September.

It’s hard to believe, as we each make our exit,
We spent our last years talking nothing but Brexit.


John Boyne is the author of 12 novels for adults and 6 for younger readers, including The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas and The Heart’s Invisible Furies. More on his website.

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