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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