Poetry: NHS (thank you) by Tamara von Werthern

Image: Gordon Joly / Flickr

NHS (thank you)


The youngest person to die today

Had the same name as my son

I flicked on the news by accident

Looking for some physical fun


Instead I got a cold hard punch

I almost doubled over with pain

While we are enjoying a garden lunch

Young healthy people are slain


There’s death on our doorsteps

Weaving through streets and parks

There’s death in our hospitals

Our carers and doctors are brave


Throwing themselves in the fray

Without basic equipment, having to

Listen to news of their colleagues

Paying the price, and doing it anyway


Tamara von Werthern is an award-winning playwright based in Hackney.

You can read more about the success of her dystopian short film, I Don’t Want To Set The World On Firehere.

Her play The White Bike, and climate change book Letters to the Earth, featuring her contribution, are available at Pages of Hackney bookshop on Lower Clapton Road, which is currently closed but still selling book tokens.