“Lockdown” (after Kitty O’ Meara). A poem by Clifton Redmond

And the people stayed home, counted rolls of toilet paper,
boxes of UHC milk, and marvelled at their scavengings
from the last empty shelves: tins of beans, peas,
pears, and prepared for the televised
broadcast of a leader reciting memes to prolong the apocalypse.

And the people stayed home, and baked, and baked and baked,
and posted their efforts on Tik Tok, Snapchat and Instagram;
and binge-watched Netflix, and scrolled through their phones and
watched hours of You Tube – a cat sprawling
on all fours never garnered such laughs.

and the people stayed home, and performed fitness vlogs,
make-up tutorials, and sat in separate rooms and
looked at different screens.

And the people stayed home, well some didn’t,
some ignored the pleas to protect the vulnerable,
and went in droves to Cheltenham,
and danced in bars, and after-hours streets,
and held parties, and crowded onto beaches,

But the rest of the people stayed home until
the emergency was declared over, still suspended,
dangling from devices, still in their surgical masks
and disposable gloves. And that’s how it all stayed,
and the healing was virtual.

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