My Lockdown

Three rooms, plus larder
Safe housing. Safe haven.
Windows, so the sun comes in
and Electricity, for rainy days
and cooking
and wifi
I can still connect,
see friends faces.
In real life, trees turn green
Flowers come up
Quiet streets – no one
shouting past my
ground floor flat at 3am.
I wear what I want, pulling on my
Oxford Pride t-shirt, without wondering
what to wear with it, to pull close
in case someone looks at me.
Post is arriving again
magazines, snacks, bank statements
Reminders that life goes on
beyond the four outside walls.
I allow myself to feel all that comes up.
I let myself cry
I let myself laugh
(and try not to feel guilty about either)
I get dressed every day.
I write every day.
Open the curtains
Sometimes not until 4pm, but
there it is: Outside
still there, Life going on
But when I picture it 
I still see the streets of before
just more…
s p a c e d   o u t
It’s hard to imagine 2m supermarket queues,
never mind ones distanced by that gap
My life under lockdown
could be anywhere.
A text message A reminder to register Advice texts And phone calls And leaflets through door As if I could forget that I am now marked on a register somewhere as ‘extremely vulnerable’ and Must Stay Home
No shopping for essentials
No daily walk
Just stay home, feeling what I’m
feeling, self care, cooking, writing,
napping, reading, zooming,
missing cats
(No cats to stroke for 12 weeks;
No cats to stroke for the first time
since – when? 1980?)
Just three rooms, plus larder,
emptying.

by Ingrid Warren

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