Copy writers test fancy names
for the unrest: ‘recreational rioting’?
Newspapers plump for ‘scum’;
PR officers of politicians,
police forces, earnest agencies
spin webs to make point-scoring capital.
The uninsured Asian shopkeeper's
still shell-shocked in the shell of his shop;
the hoody has new trainers but his mum’s
too scared to ask him where he got them;
a dad catches sight of his pride and joy
on cctv and has to make a choice.
Chain store fatcats offset the damages
with more staff cuts, and won’t lose any sleep;
Police officers who held back after all
the complaints, now vilified for holding back,
not holding back the mob; some stoic Sikhs
take up cricket bats ready to defend
families above shops, nerves tuned
for smash of glass or curl of smoke;
insurers calculate the costs to spread
to everyone: the flat-dwellers who fled
with nothing but their lives; the family firm
a smouldering crime scene.
Sharing camera footage of him
and his mates and what they did,
damning, laughed over; Twitter alive
with the chirpings of disturbed birds
in their silver cages and their nests of rags;
police drafted in and dying for a tussle;
the brush and bucket brigade
blitz the streets in brittle war spirit,
and the same questions bubble up
at office water coolers, in government
departments, supermarkets, on phones
and forums and behind closed doors:
What happened? And why?
Are you alright? Were you insured?
Where can we go? How can we protect?
What should we do? Who did this? When
and where will they strike again?
Where were you last night?
© Clare Kirwan
Clare says: There are so many articles on this, but I chose one local to me - I wonder how many more disturbances there have been away from city centres and not reported nationally?