by | Apr 27, 2020

Twenty Second Thoughts

Lockdown Diary

Holly Peters, Plymouth’s Young City Laureate

Have the animals forgotten about us?

The way that everything we are associated with screeches:

Our lungs, our phones, our exhaust pipes.

Deer in a field staring at us staring at them,

Forced into our homes allowing them to open theirs.

They don’t skitter or scamper.

It’s hard to tell who’s more in awe:

Watch us run. Watch us hide.

Flowers opening, unfurling like a fist

Because the threat of being trodden on has

Finally, been locked down.

There are just days and nights, no way to differentiate.

One comes after the other identical to the one before it,

April slipping away,

Can’t grasp sand as it slips through a sieve.

When did winter become spring becoming summer?

The familiar four walls, cracks counted.

A pane of glass between us and the sky,

Inside and outside, a line in the sand – six foot long.

I mentally make a list of the summer we had planned,

Craving the smell of chlorine and sun lotion.

Melted ice cream on the Hoe, watching the water crashing in,

The light glinting on its rippling surface like shattered diamonds.

No deadlines, responsibilities put on pause,

Unapologetically green trees.

The sky refusing to let its star set.

Just the sand and the sea.

Sunny festivals and that city break,

As the water falls, I mourn the memories we’ll never make.

Running a race without an end in sight,

Or a race where the finishing line just can’t sit still,

A race that nobody’s winning,

But not really a race at all.

Minds running wild in tandem, spirals of thoughts,

Focus hopping from one idea to the next, dark and light,

Denying that stack of reading.

The still and the chaos an unlikely alliance,

The most soothing shade of red,

Most jarring tinge of blue.

Twisted taps, the stream pedalling to escape the tunnel

Before I clamp it shut again. Suds of aloe,

Or vanilla or coconut. ‘Happy Birthday’ sung twice over.

The back of my hands crisscrossed with fine valleys,

Hardened like a shell, angry patches of ruby.

Burned by friction, burned by the scolding fountain

Left running too long, muscles fired up.

Scraped to the bones, purge the invisibles.

Drops like tears falling from the tips –

Another twenty seconds dribbling down the drain.

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