Getting Left Behind


Stephen’s Green Luas,, Dublin 1 yesterday

Poet Kevin Higgins writes:

I am one of what the government and health experts call the “specially vulnerable”, in the sense that I have sarcoidosis in my lungs and am on strong immunosuppresant drugs for the condition. Below is a new poem inspired by the feeling of being left behind, because of my status, as the rest of society gets ready to get going again.

The Vulnerable

I dream I’m watching the morning train
rattle down the platform without me.
Pale and panting from the chase, I sit
steaming on the floor which smells
of Euston, Liverpool Street, Waterloo;

realise that like
an ultra Orthodox Rabbi,
a Miners’ Union shop steward,
or a veteran of the Franco-Prussian War,
I’m what will be swept away;
my ticket sweating unredeemed
in a back pocket;

as the world rushes on to get
wherever it next must.

Kevin Higgins


6 thoughts on “Getting Left Behind

        1. Janet, dreams of spidercrab and fancy pastries

          that wasn’t my point, I hope Kevin is as pasty as possible to be able to wring some vitamin D from these dark skies

  1. John Smith

    Kevin is making a very valid point in his telling poem. He is one of those people in the UK who received an official letter that told them they were especially vulnerable. Those who are vulnerable are not being well-served by the relaxation plans and seem to have been almost forgotten, whether they are in the UK or Ireland. Here in Ireland, the extension of cocooning until August was seen as being unacceptable to many so was removed from the Roadmap and replaced by… …nothing. Cocooners were left with no clear end to their situation. Like me, many over-70s that I know, whether or not they understood that it wasn’t compulsory anyway, chose to ignore the cocooning advice from the beginning. Some others are now bringing themselves out and rejoining the rest of the population as it moves towards normality. Those remaining cocooned, whether from fear or because they think they have to or, as in Kevin’s case, because they really are severely at risk, are, indeed, being left behind and, apparently, disregarded. I hope his poem will be read and understood by as many people as possible and especially by those in positions of power.

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