Month: April 2020

On Leaving the House and Encountering Another Human Being

I’m sorry I dived into the bushes.
It’s not personal, you understand.
You happened to walk in my direction
and my nerves got the upper hand.

I’m sorry I screamed when you came near me.
Don’t take my angry shrieks to heart.
Idiomatically, let’s stay in touch –
and physically, six feet apart.

Apologies if it seems like you repulse me,
that I recoil when you come near.
In other times, we might have spoken,
shared a joke or had a beer,

or waltzed together down the footpath,
perhaps we may yet still one day.
But just for now, embrace the margins
and wave to me from far away.

Comparative Guidance for Social Distancing

Just remember it’s:
The length of a musk ox or fully-grown llama
Three Rubik’s Cubes plus one Keir Starmer
Eleven seven-inch singles by Bananarama
That’s what two metres is.

Alternatively, it’s:
1/ 192,199,930th of a single moon beam
2.2 times greater than Munch’s The Scream
About 10½ packets of custard creams
That’ll be two metres.

If easier, think:
Thirty-three pairs of dragonfly wings
The length of a yoga mat belonging to Sting
Two one-metre long pieces of string
That comes to two metres.

Or failing that, imagine:
0.00000091 of the coast of mainland Wales
18.2648402 cricket bails
One and a quarter Prunella Scales
That’s two metres.

Cat under Lockdown

My cat has been adapting to the lockdown
rather well, it must be said.

She leaves the sofa for very limited purposes,
exercising once a day in the flowerbeds,

never failing to wash her paws
for at least two hours upon her return.

She no longer meets friends or relatives
who do not live in her home,

but contents herself in catching up with them
on Skype or Zoom. Should other cats

intrude on her territory, she’s always careful
to maintain her social hiss stance,

and she deplores the action of her neighbour
who has been stockpiling mice for weeks.

She bears it all with great fortitude
although she knows everything is changed,

and, when the ambulances go by,
they will wake her and she will look at me

as if to say, don’t worry, I’m here,
I have no plans to go anywhere.