I’m nearing the end of my Telling your Story course. I’ve produced a sheaf of poems from over the last month, a couple that I really love, some that need a bit more work and some that are best left as they are – an simple expression of emotion. I’ll be sending several out for submission, but I thought I’d share this one with you – it’s very much of the moment. The prompt was to think about what we’d pack away as this first period of the pandemic seems to be reaching an end.
My coronavirus case has a cherry pink lining
I choose my favourite vanity case
vintage cream with cherry pink lining,
pounced on in that Liverpool charity shop.
I lay down casual chats with my neighbours.
I lay down having you here.
Eating, together, at one on the dot.
There’s a corner for beloved musicians,
beaming beautiful covers of beautiful songs
live from their room to mine. A corner for listening parties,
a corner for shared lives online.
I have to leave space for the wipes, for hand gel, for grocery fear,
Space for missed hugs and markers,
time ebbed away in untouchable blur.
I leave space for those lives irretrievably changed,
space for masks and falsehood and failing;
snake coiled round the handle will strike.
I lay down the regular contact,
as they slip back to the noise of their life.
I think I’ll keep this case beside me
unzip when my loneliness bites.