Their grip on life was tenuous at best;
they faced disease, disaster, distortions
of human spirit. They’re laid to rest
in shallow graves – in short-cut proportions.
They were denied the surety of time,
that through age would deliver them their dreams
and wishes. They are the unfinished rhyme,
left to hang – dangling threads and broken seams.
Their length of stay and early departure
leaves a host of unscheduled vacancies
with ‘rooms to let’ but no room to barter
any further bids or contingencies.
. Their absence leaves an emptiness – a void;
. despondency of destiny deployed.
© Tim Grace, 21 December 2014
To the reader: In 1976, the first case of Ebola (a viral-hemorrhagic disease of five known types) occurred in Yambuku, a small village of Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of Congo). To date the largest outbreak of Ebola occurred in 2014; affecting multiple countries throughout West Africa; infecting over 27,000 people and killing more than 11,000. Ebola is a primates’ disease spread by contact with infected carriers; a very effective and efficient killer that consumes the body with rapacious zeal.
To the poet: The size of the 2014 Ebola outbreak took the world by surprise. Consequently, the death toll rose to epidemic proportions. Through the safe lens of a documentary I watched the healthy take care of the sick; and all too often attend to the dead with body bags and shallow graves. The ‘safe lens’ should not provide comfort, it should stir emotions, raise consciousness and press the poet’s pen to paper.