Marxist. Trade Unionist. Socialist-feminist. Author. Poet. Speaker. Tutor. RMT ex-Exec. Workers' Liberty. Autie. Bi. PUFC fan.

Unlucky Number

Submitted by Janine on 30 January 2019 at 10:28

World's richest get richer while planet's poorest get poorer, new Oxfam report shows:

Twenty-six people
own as much wealth as
the poorest half of the world's population,
as three point eight billion humans.

Twenty-six people:
one for every letter of the alphabet.
Picture them all from A to Zed,
think them arms and legs and heads.

According to the Guinness Book of Records,
they could all fit into a Mini Cooper,
although admittedly,
it would be a tight squeeze.

If one came into your house
every fifty-five minutes
then within just one day
they would all be there.

Twenty-six people.

Two rugby league teams,
a baker's two dozen,
the number of fortnights in one year,
red cards in a deck,
counties in the Republic of Ireland,
miles in a marathon,
faces of a rhombicuboctahedron.

The number of lines in this poem so far.

Twenty-six people.

Last year it was forty-three,
the year before it was sixty-one,
falling, showing
inequality growing.

Twenty-six diamond-encrusted crabs
on a beach of three point eight billion
grains of sand.

Count them and rage.


Published on Poetry24 website on 30 January 2019.


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