Saturday, June 13, 2009

Swine Flu: Country by Country

My God, how it spreads. Dotted there
with some poisonous pen, the world as its petri dish
left out in the warm air. How the circles
intersect, grow irrevocably bigger. And bigger.
That cough you hear. That whisper. Pandemic.
Pan-dem-ic. That cold victorious number. That breath
you draw in. That proclamation. Listen. Listen!
That hand that touches the light switch
before yours. That finger that wipes a tear
from my eye, spit from his mouth, blood
from your nose. That plane that touches
down, its passengers too hot. And becoming hotter.
That porcine mixing pot - and then the human
one. Those birds pecking and shitting
in their battery pens. Like pigs
in their swill. Like men.

Not a meteor impact this time,
nor some volcanic burning. Not fighting,
but in our beds. No ominous rash,
no swelling. Not even a Geiger counter
tick. But a sneeze, spraying into the air.
Seeing to all of us.

(written after seeing this BBC news item)


Blogger crimeficreader said...

Earlier in the week, I found this site via the Daily Telegraph.
It seems to keep a live update of cases.

Sat Jun 13, 05:14:00 pm  
Blogger Clare Dudman said...

Ah. Thanks, CFR.

Sat Jun 13, 05:19:00 pm  
Blogger Anne S said...

Living in the centre of the first swine flu outbreak in Australia, I so far have survived, despite catching public transport every morning. Actually, I've noticed that most commuters appear to be in good health, whereas at this time every year, there are usually persons coughing and sneezing all around me.

Perhaps the unwell are heeding health warnings and staying home.

Sun Jun 14, 04:38:00 am  
Blogger Clare Dudman said...

Very glad to hear it, Anne! And very interested to hear about the effect it has on ill members of the community. Perhaps there is going to be a good side to this - it will make us more careful about personal hygiene. I hope so.

Sun Jun 14, 10:02:00 am  

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