A slight rewrite of psalm 137.
I lack the cadences and tones of the prophets
Sometimes words tumble from my mouth like grain
At other times words are pulled like teeth
When I sat down by the Manchester Ship canal
On a cold grey December day
I, too, wept because of the curse I carried
The curse of a glint of a light from Elysium
Or Zion or heaven-knows-what-you-will.
I cannot sing the songs of the Lord
Whether I'm at home or abroad
But if I ever forget to sing of the dead
May I be silenced forever.
My highest joy was a little boy
Who died of meningitis just before
Christmas. If I knew that Babylon
Had done this I, too, could seek revenge.
But, my friend, knives and bullets are of
Little use against virus and bacteria.
Psalm 137 ends so eloquently by wishing
Happiness to one who seized and slaughtered
An infant child; by Christ I would beg to differ.