Five Crosses
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Level five

A villanelle about the deaths of workers at the Crossrail Bond Street site.

Don't go down to level five
A killer's prowling in the deep
Stay away and stay alive

Worker bees construct a hive
of industry, where toxins seep
Don't go down to level five

Profits rise and standards dive
The cost is high, the fall is steep
Stay away and stay alive

Budgets press and masters drive
while workers perish in their sleep
Don't go down to level five

No work until the masks arrive
What dust will sow the heart will reap
Stay away and stay alive

Bonds are broken, breath deprived
Workmates mourn and loved ones weep
Don't go down to level five
Stay away and stay alive