News that Tower Insurance and other insurance companies are considering refusing to insure houses in flood-prone areas reminded me of “Written Off”, a poem from my 2016 collection New Sea Land.
The set of climate change consequences outlined in this poem were not difficult to come up with. Perhaps, if our “leaders” had spent more time thinking about consequences and less time bowing and scraping to vested interests, we wouldn’t be in quite such a deep hole seven years after this poem was first published.
They had insured
still it was not enough.
They hunched over maps,
consulted climate science.
went with the stroke of a pen:
no possible premium
could insure that level of risk.
why do people choose to build on them?
Bigger floods, more often: gone.
East coast farmers, eyeball-deep
in debt, haunted by drought,
desperate to irrigate:
you backed the wrong horse.
Low-lying suburbs, factories
built next to streams:
there is no mercy
in insurance. The numbers speak,
and then there is no mercy.