My friend wants to insulate Britain

Stillness has cleared

a face I know.

She sits, eyes on her children’s future,

hands on the road.

She’s absorbing the rage

that stuns like soaring heat,

that beats about her

like roofs on floodwater.

When the car against her back

thrusts her forward,

there’s a moment’s cry

until her silence

takes her back

in hold.

Watching footage from my kitchen,

I remember her voice,

her laugh,

the time she told me I was brave.

Her fullness overflows

and leaves me hollow.

In print they are an eco mob

and she’s a thug.

The hashtag’s an assault.

I’m told – I half-believe –

this arms a class war,

poisons a movement,

divides us

like I’m divided.

And I’m afraid

that prison would eat at her love,

that in this world

lambs are for roasting

and someone soon

will never rise again.

And I’m in awe,

heart numbed and desolate

that she is there

and I choose not to be,

that it’s come

through callous greed

and toxic lies

to this.

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PROCESSING