Coronavirus Times – by Susan Sciama

Primrose Hill Short Story Entry

Spring Pandemic
Trapped in this global lockdown
I remember
how poems could ferment
most freely
from the shock and joy
of being somewhere new.
Senses excited in a foreign light
India, Morocco, Spain –
burned colour into thought.
Now, while hospitals seethe
and thousands die each night
we must stay At Home
with strictly local walks
2 metres separation…
and are meant to keep
mind-saving forays short.
Yet – in relief from our confinement
today’s details resonate
lit by riotous blossom:
a strutting pigeon’s
purple-green feathers
glint suddenly in late sunlight
as a squirrel appears,
munching a big red apple,
bigger than its head.
Startled, by nothing visible –
perhaps a change in breezes –
the squirrel drops its apple
rushes up a tree,
skitters along branches
somersaults
in lush leaves’ canopy
looks down,
on adoring faces.
A creature like that,
lemur, bushbaby –
was once my ancestor.
Carefree, even in fear.

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