On Reading the Guardian News Item:
France falls out of love with topless sunbathing


Now planes are falling from the sky
brought down by bombs or storms of sand
and bodies flying through the air,
incinerated where they land.
Now drones are flying over towns
and villages where families lie
scattered upon the blood-dimmed earth
rent by a missile from on high.
    In times like these, it’s good to know
    successors to Brigitte Bardot,
    whose breasts were often on display,
    are covering up in Saint-Tropez.
Now children on a blood-strewn yard
lie dying in a UN school
and learn, too late, that modern war
is subject to no human rule.
Now girls asleep in their school dorm
are woken, kidnapped, taken deep
into impenetrable land
while parents, friends and teachers weep.
    At times like this it’s good to know
    what may be à la mode, although
    French women think it is passé
    to bare their breasts in Saint-Tropez.
Now drive-by shootings in the hood
leave strangers dying, one by one,
and children other children kill
when they discover Daddy’s gun.
Now vigilantes late at night
who stand their ground while they patrol
can shoot the mad, the drunk, the strange,
disdaining talk of gun-control.
    At times like this it’s good to know
    bikini tops are now on show
    as toplessness is now risqué
    upon the beach at Saint Tropez.
Now new and old diseases take
their toll on those who try to cure
the sad, the suffering, the sick,
when each prognosis is unsure.
Now chemists working in a lab
and patients undergoing trials
are seeking what alleviates
from what are merely fads, lifestyles.
    At times like this it’s good to know
    that suntanned breasts no longer glow
    and fashion fans are now au fait
    with what is chic at Saint Tropez.

Conor Kelly

If you have any comments on this poem, Conor Kelly would be pleased to hear from you.