Blankets

Mustard and berry red,

washed out,
with a hole.

Wrapped around his torso,
broadcasted
to the world.

A beautiful face,
lethargic and
small.

His foot stirs,
the eyes are still,
his mouth makes no words.

The blanket’s on camera,
The subtitle’s CHOLERA.

Meanwhile, a tiger print in Aleppo. ..
Fluffier than the other one
its corners’ are lifted
with a bundle inside.
The tiger’s head scream –
two feet appear.

Somewhere else, a blanket like mine –
Chinese and acrylic.
There’s a woman inside.
Is she still alive?

The blankets call to each other
from house to house.
Rasp into rubbled streets,
out to chicken yards.

A symphony of blankets
green, brown and blue,
disguising the bones,
blood, vomit and dirt.

From TV to TV.
Hear them, see them,
Build a wigwam from them.

At 7.40am, here in Erdington,
when the kettle cooled and breakfast is done,
the TV is switched off and the blankets are gone.