They Were Spared

Richard Williams

From blue-eyed soul
and all that jazz
to rhythm and blues
and razzmatazz,
Amy Winehouse
the musical queen.
Spared she was
lockdowns, shut-ins
shut-outs and lock-ins.

Hitchens Chris
steadfast brother,
and word lover,
whose voice would calm
the troubled hills.
You were spared
two-metre spacing,
no embracing,
Zoom interfacing,
contact tracing.

Jimi Hendrix
who said hello
and used to mix
with every Joe.
Whose guitar could
make the moon quiver.
He was spared
self-isolators and
and respirators.

Mum and Dad,
mostly outdoors,
good times they had
on barndance floors
and up in town
when occasion called.
Spared you were
empty shelves,
empty churches,
doomed nurses,
bagged corpses.

Barefoot Jesus
donkey rider,
water strider,
firm provider,
who met a woman
by the well.
He was spared
masks, frowns
and full-bodied gowns,
blood types
and second spikes,
flattening curves,
bodies of birds,
swelling seas,
dry-bone trees.

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