Iceland

I wrote this poem as a spoken word piece, in response to this coronavirus pandemic, through the eyes of an elderly person who has lived through world war two.

Five hundred quid
Worked all my life for five hundred quid
Ooo, these Tena ladies are on offer
Worked my hands to the bone and my back to the knackers yard, I did
Funny times we live in, funny times
Corona-whatsit rampant, country in lockdown
Just like the war
Our big grown prime minister falling to the floor
Sick people in and out the revolving doors
Crying and dying on hospital floors
People telling me to stay indoors
Only so much of Piers Morgan I can take
And I’m bleeding sick of doing chores
Ooo look, choccy digestives, two for one fifty
Just like the war
But not living on a lump of cheese, a tin of spam and a packet of dried egg
Bring back rationing, it should be the law
All these feckin crazy people
Strippin shelves bare
Hoarding the toilet roll like they don’t care
About how others fare
Oh, I’ll have some of those
Rice pudding, fifty pence a tin
Its strange times, its mad times we’re in
Can’t even go down the bingo
Can’t remember the last time I had a win
Hair like a Brillo pad, legs like scourers
Can’t remember the last time I plucked the hairs on my chin
It does this to you
All this social isolation
Wrapping clingfilm around a rebellious nation
And the government have this mental expectation
That we will be sheep
Clothed in the wool of allegation
Don’t go out
Wash your hands
Keep two metres between you
Do as we say, or we’ll impose a curfew
It’s just like the war
Except you don’t have to don your guns
And kill a visible enemy
We’re fighting something global we can’t even see
All we have to do is stay inside and watch the death tolls on TV
And I pray every day that one of those intensive care beds won’t be me.
Ooo loo roll
I’ll need that
Back in the war I’d wipe my bum with newspaper
The stories of the day plastered over my derriere
My neighbour popping by to see if I had some spare
And the air raid sirens would scream
And we’d be woken from our dreams
Of victory
Playing hide and seek with the bombs that rained down
Dot to dot on the roofs of the houses of our little town
Taking refuge in the shelters
Taking refuge in the neighbours
Taking refuge in the strangers
And though we were fighting for freedom
We were still free
Oh, tinned fruit cocktail
Will do for my trifle
Put it in my cupboard full
Of empty shelves
In my kitchen of a lonely life.
Better go home now
Better go home.

©2020 Sarah Drury

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