Complications. A poem by Brigid Sweeney

In a ward overcrowded
Patients confounded left distressed
While overworked essentials crave rest
But the best they can do is a guess
Smiles of comfort not even seen through the screen of PPE
And machines that help them rest
As they take their last ventilated breath.

A big gentle man
Cracks on with his plan just
To survive as any man can
In a hotbed pandemic
Hatred endemic for his kind
devalued in life and in death
He is stopped blind
takes his last suffocated breath

A pleading young mother
Kids scream at each other
It’s all too much for dad
It’s a rage and he’s had
A few and that’s not the least
Can’t get away from the beast
She covers her bruises
Picks up her youngest
Hopes she can get through the worst
Hot blood on the cold knife
Sweet murdered wife takes her last breath

He stares at his wife
Slumped on the floor
Feels the knife in his hand
As he heads for the door
Then he sees that there’s more
Its all too much for dad
When they find them he’s glad
Falls clutching his youngest
The whole thing’s a mess
Takes his last breath.

Stagnant Suffocating confinement
The unrelenting walls closing in-
Inhale, exhale; Zoom yoga and baking dough
Obliged to show forget the death
For a brief moment you
took away my breath.

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