Holly Peters, Plymouth’s Young City Laureate
We’d have enjoyed a break from the fast pace –
A pause –
An anticipated day off,
A day away from computers and lectures,
Stretching weekend –
What would we have been doing a year ago?
Maybe a walk on the hoe, cones of salted chips,
Walking along the coast, fresh breeze on our necks.
In and out, weaving through crowds,
Grumbling when shoulders graze shoulders.
Flick on the news for a moment, whirled around the world.
A minute of silence to remember, reflect…
Reality resumed. On with the rest of the day.
Time wouldn’t have been spent hanging flags from windows,
Bunting roped along fences, rippling and dancing,
Only to be taken down tomorrow.
Another chore. Another task.
Cupcakes in cases of red, white and blue: a nice thought,
Never baked into existence.
Racing to catch up with the what we missed,
Back when the world was turning that little bit faster.
Not this year though.
Neighbours sit in their fragment of garden,
Shouting over the steady thrum of music,
The farthest edge, camp chairs set out in a line
Facing laughter and joy.
Shaking up that routine
We didn’t know we’d slipped into.
Reminiscing of distant memories,
Imagining future ones.
Clouds in the sky like icing sugar;
The sun, golden.
Shifting changes, new pieces found
Making it into another puzzle,
Different pictures. Heart and hope.
We recognise the strength, the spirit.
Our own struggle, remembering theirs.
The trees still growing. The greenest of greens.
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