Unlucky Number

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.

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