DNR. A poem by Phil Coleman

Do not respire so close to me
Do not rain down Blitz metaphors
Do not rumour monger
Do not raise a Churchillian V
Do not relax on the benches, in the parks or on the streets
Do not reassure behind a lectern
Do not reiterate the daily briefing
Do not reframe this as your finest hour
Do not relapse into normal
Do not regret the sacrifice of our loved ones
Do not roll over, good little house hamsters
Do not regress the model where millions die
Do not rely on experts now
Do not resurrect the Welfare State
Do not regurgitate they’re doing the best they can
Do not resign, rinse your hands of your mess
Do not rank us by age or health condition
Do not repeat your hospital handshake
Do not remember the taxes paid
Do not rush into ICU, ahead of the queue
Do not rabbit on about herd immunity
Do not ration our care
Do not round on the family from the take away
Do not rely on a society you said didn’t exist
Do not run away to your second home
Do not reject our benefit claims
Do not ramp up statements about masks Made In Britain
Do not remind me to complete my will
Do not report why you then buy cheaper from Turkey
Do not recommend I pack a hospital bag
Do not recall the Great Stink
Do not recollect others took one suitcase each, stacked on the platform
Do not relax quarantine until there is a vaccine
Do not require me to list my medicines – all I’ll get is sedatives
Do not race to my bedside as I lie alone
Do not reassure me as you rush through my DNR


Phil Coleman lives near Swansea and tries to balance work and the need to write. His work has appeared on poetry24.co.uk and is slowly creeping into print.

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