The news presenters perform with deadly, straight faces
as they relay facts and figures about death and disease
Politicians assemble, flanked by the medicals
speak in slow, regal tones aimed to keep us at ease.
Unlike me in the kitchen, cooking and Zooming
Performing, smiling with my big wolf teeth
I use a wooden spoon, a glass of wine as props
mix my metaphors, turn my back, aim for light relief.
Maria positions herself, poised, still in front of the camera.
Margaret performs at a desk, back straight. She calls our
names for us to speak. In the screen’s mirror, Ruth models
her hair. We all peer, adjust cameras, all talk at once.
Our homes are our habitats. Do you choose books
At the back or art? We talk, smile, wave, put on a show
Then fumble as we try to find the ‘click’ to go
To perform our soliloquys in our bedroom, alone.
Every day is a performance to an invisible audience,
up close, and personal in this strange space
I wonder, what is the point of being when no-one is physical
when people are scared to touch each other’s faces?
Kate Ennals is a prize-winning poet and writer and has published poems and short stories in a range of literary and on-line journals (Crannog, Skylight 47, Honest Ulsterman, The Moth, Anomaly, Bangor Literary Journal, Boyne Berries, North West Words, The Blue Nib, Dodging the Rain, The Ogham Stone, plus). Her first collection of poetry At The Edge was published in 2015. Her second collection, Threads, was published in April 2018. She has lived in Ireland for 25 years and runs poetry and writing workshops in County Cavan. Kate also runs At The Edge, Cavan, a literary reading evening, funded by the Cavan Arts Office. Before doing an MA in Writing at NUI Galway in 2012, Kate worked in UK local government and the Irish community sector for thirty years, supporting local groups to engage in local projects and initiatives. Her blog can be found at kateennals.com