in a time of lockdown

 

Brian Purcell

in a time of lockdown

 

I walk out in clear air

that moments ago was filled with rain

 

catch a face at a window

filled with terror

 

streets that were jammed with cars

now empty

 

neon lights of a café closed for weeks

beat ‘open now’

 

a shape moves between pillars

of the locked-down care facility

 

distant skidding of a solitary car

I cannot turn around

 

to watch it pass

light and darkness    beats

 

words fill pages then empty

now that rain no longer falls

 

reasonable ideas

dissolve in mist

 

the woman returns to the window

her face calm, the horror departed

 

she searches the streets

she looks right through me

 

my steps land on tar

the brittle surface no longer holding

 

I think of your lips, so far from me

the calming words that are now meaningless

 

and possibly always were

but there are colours and shapes

 

and memories that cannot be removed

by solemn gentlemen in long dark vans

 

whose faces always

tilt to the earth



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