My first, and, so far, only – and that minor –
cardiac infarction fell on the date
of the sixty fourth anniversary
of The Battle of Cable Street, when the Jews
and the Irish stuffed Mosley and his Blackshirts,
the Old Wykehamist and his numbskulls,
the Daily Mail’s darling, a Great White Hope.
The consultant – of the old, aloof school,
and treated with awe by theatre staff –
liked Benny Goodman for accompaniment.
On a vast black and white monitor I watched
as, through my groin, the catheter sidled
the arterial highways to my heart.
How essentially anonymous we are!
They could have been anybody’s body parts!
I turned away, listened to the King of Swing’s
version of Bessie Smith’s ‘After You’ve Gone’ –
‘some day when you grow lonely your heart will break…’
Today is the eighty fourth and the nineteenth
respectively. There is no need, perhaps,
for barricades, and I have almost learned
the lessons of my heart.
Note: the poem was first published on 4.10.19 on Facebook .