Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Shibaprasad Deb writes


What shall I call him
Boris? Johnson?
Mr Prime Minister?
Reasoned nurse Luis Pitarma
assigned to her PM.
Honorifics Honourable, Respected PM
Never crossed her mind.
Nor did she have to.
"Boris", he said 
to her "What shall I call you?"

Viewing the daily pressers 
Trump, Merkel, Trudeau and more
On screens tiny, medium and large
Mr President, Chancellor, 
Are as far as they go
staffers or the press
Responses given,
Terse, dramatic or sober
to questions on failures,
delving, probing, no matter.

All territories nearer home
The crown long shaken off 
Equality, liberty proclaimed
Yet honorifics still reign
Respected, Honourable somebodies
preside unquestioned, at all gatherings
squatting on higher backed seats
Even references to the new lords
Unfailingly prefixed by titles
Enlightened feudal we remain

1 comment:

  1. After he left critical care as he recovered from COVID-19, British prime minister Boris Johnson praised the care he was given. "I owe them my life. I can't thank them enough. I hope they won't mind if I mention in particular 2 nurses who stood by my bedside for 48 hours when things could have gone either way." He named Jenny McGee from New Zealand and Luis Pitarma, from Aveiro on the west coast of Portugal. "The reason in the end my body did start to get enough oxygen was because for every second of the night they were watching and they were thinking and they were caring and making the interventions I needed," he said. Pitarma said he was "nervous" upon learning the PM would be his patient. "The responsibility I was going to hold in my hands was quite overwhelming. "I didn't really know how to address him - should I call him Boris, Mr Johnson or Prime Minister? My matron reassured me and said to be myself like I am with any other patient." He said that upon meeting Mr Johnson moments later, the PM told him to call him Boris. "That made me feel less nervous because he took away any formality," he said. "I was by his side for the three nights he was in ICU. We had some conversations, including about where I was from. I told him how I'd dreamed about working at St Thomas' since my first day of training in Portugal in 2009, when I learned about Florence Nightingale and her connection to the hospital. He said it was amazing that I wanted to work here for so long and was glad I was there when he needed our care. It was a pleasure to look after him."


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