For Jo Cox

For Jo Cox


Liz Gray

If we had words to gather

and ravel up a life

knit the years as yet unlived

slit by shot and knife;

if we had wool to work it

to stitch it, row on row,

a life cast off too early

the pattern yet to show;

if we could knit it better

back and sides and arm

if, by the stitches of our hearts

we could unpick that harm:

for were you then so wicked,

corrupt, self-serving, dark?

Had you then deserved that bullet

so to find its mark?

No palaces at Westminster

you had a narrow barge,

your heart went out to Syria

because your life was large;

and there is a Birstall everywhere;

you’re everyone’s MP

democracy’s shot down today

outside your surgery

and there are no words to gather

just the silence that is grief

as we stand arm to shoulder

with shock and disbelief.

Our verses stumble, fall down

and die within the breast.

Speak only what is in our heart

and silence

is the rest.


© Liz Gray 2016

I give permission for it to be circulated to appropriate groups or individuals, provided that copyright is always attached.
Liz Gray
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