Poems of the Week


by Nina Parmenter

The UK has already lost its measles-free status, thanks to a discredited study which linked the MMR vaccine to autism. Now a rise in cases of mumps has been reported. 

How do we catch the measles,
and how do we catch the mumps?
Surprise, surprise, it’s the spread of lies
that literally leaves us with lumps.

Autism’s in the wiring,
but nonsense is in the ether,
and Claire is in intensive care
with a fiercely spiking fever.

Do viruses hold with hokum?
No, they squat in our bodies and laugh
at our ignorant art of tearing apart
the one thing that stands in their path.

Science is in a needle,
but venom is in a tweet,
and Claire? Well she’s in a mortuary
with tags upon her feet.