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.
Dave Whippman is a UK poet and prose writer. He lives in the north of England.
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