Bring back the washing of uniforms, ironing of blouses, setting of alarm clocks.
Bring back the making of lunches, shouting to get out the door and school drop offs.
Bring back face-to-face board meetings, their ten point agendas, and the fifty
minutes it takes to decide where to put the new photocopier.
Bring back Sunday Mass, the priest with the lisp and his half-hour sermons.
Bring back the communions and screams of coked kids on bouncy castles.
Bring back packed Post Offices full of the smell of bachelor farmers
in their manure-coated wellies. Bring back Granny’s bingo.
Bring back the crowds in the outpatient clinics and the queueing in Tesco
being deafened by squealing toddlers hanging out of their mothers’ trolleys.
Bring back traffic jams, the honking of car horns and clampers.
Bring back the pubs, hurling matches and husband-less evenings.
Bring back the hairdressers and weekly blow dries, the cafés
and their over-priced coffees, McDonalds and their oversized French fries.
Bring back late nights, taxi-ing teenagers to and from discos, the prinks
in the sitting room beforehand and the wiping up of vomit, after.
Bring back weight watchers, Saturday morning soccer practice and expensive
ballet classes. Bring back the drama, music and literary festivals.
Bring back the days I didn’t have the inclination to watch the six-o-clock
news, read updates on hse.ie or track stats on the government website.
Bring back conversations with my elderly parents about deaths and illnesses,
that don’t relate to the dreaded virus. Bring back the days I didn’t have to Zoom.
Bring back the visits to my therapist and the one hour in the week
I could cry or roar and dump my anxieties on her office floor.
Bring back the days I hadn’t time to wipe my arse, wash my hands,
let alone write, edit or recite this poem.
Anne Walsh Donnelly was nominated for the Hennessy Literary Award and selected for Poetry Ireland Introductions in 2019. She is the author of the poetry chapbook, “The Woman With An Owl Tattoo,”(Fly On The Wall Press, 2019) and the short story collection, “Demise of the Undertaker’s Wife” (Blue Nib, 2019). Website here.