It chafes, to be arrested in this way.
The pressure of these four walls seems to graze my bare shoulders with every movement.
And my rebellious soul longs to burst out of the front door and go running down the street,
Even though my days of rebellions and running are far behind me.
I shake with nerves each time I hear a noise outside
For fear that someone is approaching my door…
And then again for fear that nobody will.
These days in isolation are old news to so many;
Indeed, before these last few weeks I’d have counted myself amongst them.
I imagine inmates of prisons having a bitter chuckle at the rest of us
As we thrash against the knots
We are tied into for our own protection.
Like so many battery hens, we near kill ourselves
Trying to all squeeze at once through the tiniest chink in the barn wall
For a taste of freedom.
The passage of time seems so arbitrary now that nothing is as it should be.
Our once-busy streets so empty,
Our cities frozen in a moment
As though some invisible ice age has swept through and petrified us.
The only activity now are the hospitals that buzz like beehives.
Two days from now,
I’ll be sitting alone at my kitchen bench, glass of wine in hand,
Staring at a candle stuck haphazardly into the top of a chocolate biscuit
To mark my forty-third revolution around the sun,
With no desire to blow out the flame while my world is crumbling around me.
But somewhere in the turmoil in my head,
A tiny voice is telling me that it’s okay,
And it’s going to be okay;
Two thousand and twenty will be the year of pausing.
© mjc 25 March 2020
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