Lockdown Town. A poem by Julie Heptinstall

Another day in Lockdown Town
It feels like Groundhog Day…
Another day in Lockdown Town
‘Replay’, ‘Replay’, ‘Replay’…

Wake up, work out what day it is
(the week no longer has its markers:
Swimming, choir, Textiles, church)

Not even work – it’s all a blur…
No grandson, groups or socialising
whether with friends or strangers.

The only marker external to shape the day
is Monday, when in deserted streets is heard
the noise of the junk-eating dragon…
but even he has lost his appetitie
and only eats ‘greens’ occasionally.

Meanwhile, we plod on, treading water (but not swimming)
How did we get here? What lessons can we learn?
The silent slitherer from the east
comes to tie us up, pin us down, constrict us.

But we were going too fast anyway!
“Work more! Earn more! Buy more than you need,”
the corporates declare.
“Then you will make me even richer, as I am in the chair!”
Ignoring all the refugees and people ‘on the line’,
as long as ‘I’m all right, Jack’, my world will be just fine.

But this world is OUR world, full of life, death and decay,
and you’ll get your ‘comeuppance’ when
you face your dying day.
Life may be slipping by, but better that than slip away.

So in our Lockdown Town, what can we do anew?
Be kind, be good, behave, as Boris wants us to;
Take care, share food, stay safe, stay home,
take exercise though, too.
The love of your community will help to see this through.

We clap upon our doorsteps, but nothing will replace
a kindly hug, a handshake, some humour face to face.
The rainbows hope that one day we all will be reborn.
Let us combine the ‘old’ ways
with those of the ‘new norm’.

Who knows how long our future,
and what that well may bring,
but live in hope and – one day –
once more again we’ll sing.


Julie is a retired Sign Language Interpreter living in Warwickshire; she’s recently discovered she can write poetry 😉

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