News poem

Here’s another poem prompted by the news. I read about the beginnings of a previous outbreak, and how it was traced back to a pregnant woman, who had butchered a monkey.


I butchered the monkey

Brought, a loving gift, from my man.

Stripped the wiry fur from it’s back

Jointed the meat

Grateful for the food it meant

Glad to be feeding my child to be



Or maybe I cursed it. A sod

To gut, monkeys.

Wondering why my husband had

Brought this old carcass home

It matters not.

I am dead 6 months or more now.

The carcass carried the plague &

My body writhes uncontrollably

My body held nothing within it

Water, food, blood. All released

Themselves. My body

My child, cut from my withered frame

Buried apart, the tradition here.

Some gift. The poisoned beast

And those that kindly honoured

My dead babe

My dead body

Died too, as terribly as I.


What fate is this to have started

Such hideousness in my village

What part has my soul in this?

What penance paid?

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