Isi Unikowski: ‘To those born after a plague year’

To those born after a plague year

That you were conceived before the Afterwards of uncommon times
to emerge in such numbers, a “cohort”
as demographers will call it, in newly-scrubbed wards,
repurposed suites and decommissioned cots
will be your disgrace. At first, your cribbed front lines
will demand nourishment and swaddling
in packed classes of overburdened schools;
hardening to claim a lifetime’s coddling
as though born under your own special sign;
and then, you will decamp in droves to whatever forms
and fusions of love your legions compel; then the last jobs
will be divided amongst yourselves, judges presiding eternally in wigs
the same colour as their hair and their face, everlasting gigs
for politicians and celebrities. Last scene of all, any available jabs
for the next plague year will go to your rest homes, first. As to the coarse
question of what they were doing in the lock-down: well, that’s another matter,
of course.

Isi Unikowski

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