Quarantine. A poem by Kate Quigley

We learn to trust our feet again,
carrying us from one small comfort
to the next: kitchen, kettle, toaster,

bed – the undercut of the TV
spewing numbers.
We put seeds in pots,

water them with a milk carton,
ring everyone to inform them
of each millimetre of growth –

the wasps knit their papery
nests in the shed, rooks
empty the bird feeders, we count

sparrows, finches, the thrush
stuffing her beak with any
soft thing she can find –

you cut the grass with a kitchen
scissors, leave every dandelion
intact to keep the bees fed.

We walk the dog
along a brief stretch of bypass,
the hot coconut bang of gorse –

he looks at us with worried eyes,
wonders if we’ve forgotten the sea,
rushes to the end of the stream

every day, expecting it
to mouth into salt,
expecting to find the whole thing

exactly where he left it.

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