The March


To celebrate their sister

They marched against the rules

Of walking over long distances

Especially uphill in the rough.


But they marched

With their shouldered drum

And an upside-down flag held oblique,

Singing: 'Marching Along'.


With dropped feet and MCR [1] shoes

And timbrels gripped with a claw

They marched all determined

In October's blazing heat.


They marched dripping sweat (if they could) [2]

But sang with deepest feeling (though some had none) [3]

And yodelled their love

For their sister.


Residents of the Chikankata Leprosy Settlement say goodbye to Joy Hetherington.

October 1973
[1]  Micro-cellular rubber

[2]  Autonomic nerve damage can cause failure of sweating in leprosy

[3]  Sensory nerve damage - a feature of leprosy