Election Day in A&E

They’re putting on masks, aprons, gloves.
Septicemic, spots on her skin,
tachycardic, pyrexic and grey,
they’re wheeling Britannia in.

Open-mouthed sockets in walls
are screaming, ‘We’re all gonna die.’
CRP’s over 300,
all of her markers are high.

The consultants are actors in House,
brows wrinkled or scratching their head.
They talk of pneumonia, TB…
Contagion! They can’t let it spread.

They’re frightened of germs from abroad.
They’re planning new ways to fight back.
‘Lesions and Plaque’, ‘Her body’s inflamed’,
‘Her organs are under attack’.

The trouble is deep in her tissue
an Auto-Immune type disease,
you can’t blame the bugs and bacteria
and you can’t blame the poor refugees.

They’re building new fences in Calais,
They’re changing the rules to get in.
But the problems not over the borders,
the problem is here, in her skin.


Julie Boden is an award winning writer, performer, broadcaster and lecturer who writes for the page, stage, film and for the concert hall. She performs and lectures internationally and is currently a Visiting Lecturer at Newman University. Information about Cracked, a play about Psychosis, written with Mike Kenny and due to tour this month, can be found on Sante Theatre’s website:  Details of some of her other past projects and archive material can be found at 

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