In the Midst of Comedy, We Are Cancelled…

Words fail me.  Well, almost: yesterday, oblivious to national events, I was chatting on Facebook and saw where someone was offering two free tickets to see Eddie Izzard.  Two free tickets to see Eddie Izzard?  How often does that happen?  Turns out he’s doing a tour of universities as part of the EU debate; the tour is called ‘Stand up for Europe.’  So I got the tickets and hared down to the university only to find the event was cancelled.  ‘Circumstances beyond our control,’ the porter said phlegmatically.  I’ll say: for, awaiting Daniel’s pizza I found out why.

Any prose words would just be banal, so here’s the poem I’ve written about it.

For Jo Cox, MP

Murdered 16/6/16


if we had words to gather
and ravel up a life
knit the years as yet unlived
slit by gun and knife:
if we had wool to work it
to stitch it, row on row
a life cast off too early,
the pattern yet to show
If we could knit it better
back and front and arm
if by the stitches of our hearts
we could undo that harm:
for were you then so evil?
corrupt, self-serving, dark?
and had you then deserved a bullet
so to find its mark?
No palaces at Westminster;
you had a narrow barge
your heart went out to Syria
because your soul was large
There is a Birstall everywhere
you’re everyone’s MP;
democracy’s shot down today
outside your surgery

So there are no words to gather
just the silence that is grief
as we stand here, head to shoulder
with shock and disbelief
our verses stumble, fall down
and die within the breast;
speak only what is in our heart
and silence is the rest.

RIP Jo Cox

(c) Liz Gray, 2016



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