Who Cares for the Carers

for Jackie and Jeanette

Just when you thought it was safe
to spin the wheel of fortune
one last time

to venture out with neither mask
or protection
against the pandemic of lies

at the heart of the human soul
you pause
on the threshold of uncertainty

Unable to turn back the clocks
or turn your back
on the needy

you care because the alternative
is unthinkable –
a world without love

a night without stars to guide us


So the forgotten nation
of carers gamble
with corona every time they visit

as if the needs of the vulnerable
might outweigh their own –
like addicts

looking for a fix – finding nothing
only pain and deceit
dressed up in poetry and rags

Mark. A. Murphy is the editor of the online journal, POETiCA REViEW. His work has appeared in over 250 literary journals in 18 different countries. His poetry collections include Tin Cat Alley (1996), Our Little Bit of Immortality (2011), Night-watch Man & Muse (2013), To Nora, A Singer of Sad Songs (2019), and Night Wanderer’s Plea (2019). His next full-length collection, The Ontological Constant is due out in June (2020) in a bi-lingual German/English edition from Moloko Print in Germany. Read other articles by Mark A..