Saturday, 18 June 2016

Remembering a Woman of Substance

Every death comes as a shock, even when it is expected. But when it is a wholly innocent person and not only unexpected but also violent, it sends shock waves around a whole nation, even the world. The shock waves fade in time, but memory is a living organism and that never fades so long as there are family, friends, and other decent people out there who will not only cherish it but pass it on from generation to generation. 

On Thursday, June 16th 2016, Jo Cox MP, 41, wife and mother of two young children, was murdered in broad daylight by one of her own constituents in Birstall, West Yorkshire. 

Now, I never met Jo Cox, knew her only by reputation and from hearing her speak in Parliament on TV. However, the outpouring of genuine grief and shock - even across customary political and socio-cultural-religious divides - further highlights the fact that she was, indeed, an exceptional young woman of substance.

Every death is a tragedy,  but the murder of a wife and mother in her prime as well as (already) a force to be reckoned with on a generally egocentric-driven political scene, that defies description. As for the killer’s motives, even his mental state at the time, these are barely relevant since nothing can change what has happened; all a poet can do is try to capture a little at least of the spirit of something in someone far better, and always well worth remembering.

This poem is a villanelle. (Why a villanelle…? By the very nature of its form, a villanelle requires a direct no-waffle, approach; by all accounts, Jo Cox was that kind of woman.)

Jo Cox [Photo taken from the Internet]


One loving wife and mother, 
rare breed of politician,
touching hearts, world over

Bringing opposites together,
her work, a passion;
one loving wife and mother

Anxious to make life better, 
a caring people person,
touching hearts, world over]

Crossing this and that barrier
set by culture or religion,
one loving wife and mother

No comfy chair commentator,
but getting things done,
touching hearts, the world over

Icon for life, senseless murder,
role model for a generation;
one loving wife and mother
touching hearts, world over

Copyright R. N. Taber 2016

(London, June 17, 2016)

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