While it was going on
the decade was entirely ours
to describe, one word after another,
millions of minute hands
hour by hour etching out
the character of the island
each littoral city, sub-continents.
Also, the nature of work in Dublin and Dubai, the unsatisfactory financiers,
family life in all its forms
the justice of our democracies,
the hard stare of strong men.
In the slums we called out one another,
flying over borders we expressed ourselves,
we cried in UPPER CASE, deployed emojis
in a miscellany of collaborations
some awful, others for good
all of us always careless of how
our words would read on the page.
And now all our words will be read.
Those words are no longer even our words
they are for others to read, and to judge.
How ‘well’ did we write?
Was our verb selection appropriate?
Did we describe the vital scenes, cheer on the right candidate?
But most important, given humankind’s unambiguous fallibility,
our pathetic interdependence while
technology like a kaleidoscope
spreads dizziness and isolation,
and journalists express their nasty
Given all this smash, us authors need to ask, dear reader:
were we kind?