Distance as a verb. A poem by Neil O’Sullivan

This grip of tension
A collective ache
Hanging leaden from above

A glisten in the iris
Reflecting the tealight
Palm shielded

Against the threatening gust
Some call it hope, others love
Many have no name

For this quivering candescence
There are so many of us
Crouched above our own flicker

Occasionally we catch each other
Nod approvingly
At each tiny spark

We glimpse between caged fingers
From the landscape between us
Exchange smiles, recognising

Each other’s travail
There are filaments of these
Slender connections

Sharing of burdens
Threaded between us
Binding us all, protecting

We shift in our crouch
To avoid knee-lock
A collective chuckle

Acknowledging the manoeuvre
This much we can do for each other
See and be seen

Know and be known
In this, our time
From this uncertain distance.

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