They’re closing the borders
And checking for crime
We’ve signalled our orders –
Each kiosk; its sign
For twenty-one days
On the honour of those
Running far from the virus
No quarantine slows
Here’s the health of a nation
Held palmed in your hand
Shaking; quaking relations
That no one can stand
Find they’re no longer welcome
While terror’s abroad
Though the shape of their income
Is what we applaud
It’s a risk to our public
Unhealthy and pale
No banana republic
With goodies for sale
Will be bribing their way
Past the guards on the line
Who know only to say
“Gosh, yes, everything’s fine!”
Though you’re likely to bring
Things that may cost the Earth
Still we can’t let you in
More than our job is worth
As the siren is sounded
The gates clang at last
All asylum for hounded
A thing of the past
We suspect you of sheltering
So we’ll lock down the sweltering
Under our terms
No sex, please, we’re British
The same goes for fun
And in case you seem skittish
I’m holding this gun
With no end of compassion
Our hearts on our sleeve
We’ve resources to ration
So, kindly, just leave.
I smiled at the man who had turned up to tea,
Though out of the blue he’d appeared.
He seemed wistful and sad when he sat beside me,
When I spoke to him, he turned and stared.
So I plucked up my courage, began to relate
All the funny events of my day.
And as he braved a smile, so the breeze did pick up
‘Til the willows were starting to sway.
Then how we both laughed, at the ways of the world.
I was pleased that my tales made him grin.
And we stayed sitting there, on a bench in the cold
As the evening was drawing in.
Then he turned with a sigh and his primary air
And remarked at how sorry he felt
That I soon would be leaving him lonely out there
As he spoke such words, my heart did melt.
For he looked in my eyes and the fondness I saw there
Did take all my breath quite away.
And he thanked me for letting him share in my life
For he’d had a most pleas’rable day.
And as it grew dark and we walked hand in hand,
He turned one last time and we kissed.
Then I opened my eyes to the streetlamps aglow
As my handsome young man turned to mist.
I was terrified, sure, as I ran for the door
For my beau had dissolved in my arms.
And I never, not once, had expected to find
Him a phantom, of such mortal charms.
Now I often do sit by myself for a bit
On the bench we shared, down by the stream.
But never again has he come for a chat
And I wonder now, was it a dream?