Form a Queue
Auden was wrong: sometimes the world can
Stop, watch and wait, hold its collective breath
After some outrage of nature or Man.
There is no equality in death
But hierarchy; grief is sorted.
Two minutes observed silence for some,
The rest unspectacular, unreported -
For most of us, tragedy will come
Privately: the policeman at the door
Bringing terrible but personal news.
If, as the victim, you want something more,
You need numbers, and photographic views:
Towns ruined by bomb or wave, something scenic.
Grief, to be shared, must be photogenic.
If you have any comments on this poem, David Whippman would be
pleased to hear from you.