There are no words


There are no words

when you hear the news

disbelief and confusion a first response

then a realisation of the awfulness

and that it is close

this city, this time

bringing back memories of other times

other places, distanced then

and now brought to mind.


not wanting this to be

dread stomach, numb limbs

can’t take it in.

There are no words.

Videos of frightened concert leavers

they are so young

a night of music

faces that seem familiar

could be you and me

and children, children.

There are no words

for families and friends grieving

for lives altered forever

for the anguish of those separated

images of beloved ones, not seen since

unaccounted for

for the pain of not knowing.

There are no words

so people did instead

held hands, cradled the dying,

offered lifts and tea and rooms,

gave blood, turned in for shifts early,

prayed and stayed silent,

left flowers

and will go on doing.

There are no words

for all that is felt

and all that will be needed in the days, years to come.

There are no words

when we realise that the one who did this

is one of us too

who walked the same streets that

I walked daily to school.

What brought us to this place?



24 May 2017


(Photo by Mike Shaw – Manchester 24/5/17)


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