Maria C. McCarthy

 

 

Bless This House


Bless this house; thank God it’s not us.
When earthquakes and tsunamis are images
we can flick to re-runs of The Simpsons,
when the snatched child is not our own,
and uniform photos on flag-draped coffins
are other families’ sons and husbands,
we take comfort in virtual transfers
to telethons to ease the tortured faces,
and when the sirens fade to silence
at another door, we send flowers
for the funeral of the twenty-year-old neighbour;
he was riddled with leukaemia.
It’s the platitudes that get us through.

It’s the platitudes that get us through.
He was riddled with leukaemia,
the twenty-year-old neighbour whose funeral
we send flowers to. It was at another door
that the sirens faded to silence.
As telethons ease the tortured faces,
we take comfort in virtual transfers.
When other families’ sons and husbands
are in uniform photos on flag-draped coffins,
and the snatched child is not our own,
we can flick to re-runs of The Simpsons.
The earthquakes and tsunamis are just images.
Bless this house; thank God it’s not us.


Maria C. McCarthy
’s poetry collection strange fruits is published by Cultured Llama with all profits going to Macmillan Cancer Support. She writes in a shed at the bottom of her garden in a village in North Kent. Website: www.medwaymaria.co.uk

One comment

  1. Valerie Morton

    As well as being a very very moving poem this is also an interesting structure – is it a palindrome? It’s such a strong message that it really punches it home by reading it both ways. “It’s the platitudes that get us through” is such a strong and thought provoking line and there is so much to think about in this poem. Thank you for it.

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