Slow news Day

Slow news Day

In the stuffy newsroom, the scent of salt lingers between lines.
The Aegean laps hungrily at spaces

as deflating rubber dinghies sail on inky seas, crash into margins
Children stumble shoeless over sentences and double-page spreads,

as fifty bodies float away from boats commanded by painters,
who have never drawn sails before.

Map-less, compass-less, they prayed their way towards Samos;
only to overturn 20 yards from shore, a shallow, breakout box of statistics.

Ten souls: four babies, a cartoon boy on a black-and-white beach in Turkey
and the outline of a little girl, washed up a few miles from Kusadasi.

For a while we care, clutch our own more tightly,
thank ‘God’ or ‘luck’ for England.
Then we call back our rescue ships, put away our whistles,
forget the flotilla, talk of ‘tackling immigration’.

And when the next boat sinks, we’ll put down our pens, leave life vests
at the bottom of the page, an S. O. S (in brackets).

Someone, please, bring us a shooting at a school in midtown white America.
Angry, loner, virgin killer – now that, we can really get excited about. 

Victoria Richards 

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