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21ST-CENTURY POETRY Jab-or-washy? by Claire Booker

’Twas british and the slimy toads
did gyre and gamble with the nation’s lives.
All mimsy were the borisandgoves —
health workers’ warnings boshed from mind.

Beware the Jab-or-washy, my son!
The jaws that sneeze, the claws that smear.
Beware the ToldYouSo bird, and shun
the fulsome BundesVorsprung panacea.

He took his wet-wipe sword in hand:
long time the virus foe he sought.
So rested he by the Austerity Tree
and stood a while (too long) in thought.

In calculating mood he stood, and still he paused.
The Jab-or-washy, with eyes of flame,
came whiffling through the crowded wards,
and murdered as it came.

One, two! One, two! The ventilators trickling came.
Researchers’ blades went snicker-snack,
‘til he, with Churchillian blague, at last could claim
it dead, and took the Victory salute, quelle knack.

“And hast thou slain the Jab-or-wash?
Come to my arms, you National Treasures!
O frabjous day! Hooray! Hooray!”
He chortled in his joy past measure.

’Twas bullish, and the borisandgoves
did lie and weedle on the web.
All wimsy were the Bullingdon rogues.
Their bishbosh failures quietly put to bed.

Claire Booker is a medical herbalist living in Brighton. Her poetry has appeared in publications including Magma, the Morning Star, the Rialto and Stand. 21st-century Poetry is edited by Andy Croft, email [email protected]



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