By Sarah Wragg
They say without my fatal breath,
they’d all have lived…
which is why none of them will let me rest.
The feeble old man who slowed me down,
insisting it was not my time to shop.
The stupid cow who told my son to stand away –
“He’s only three,” I’d said. “He doesn’t understand!”
The man who stood nonplussed with rage
because I would not move to let him safely pass.
The boo hoo nurse I beat to the last can of beans;
she should have stocked her cupboards in advance.
But still I joined the weekly cheers,
banging saucepan lids to prove I cared much more
than those who merely clapped.
They crowd me claustrophobically,
assail my ears with angry croaking whispers,
choking coughs from tortured, drowning lungs,
and the remorseless rhythmic beeps and shrill alarms –
companions of their final mortal days.
Destroyed by invisible foes
I can’t sleep, I can’t rest, I can’t think,
I can barely even breathe…
If only they would keep their distance.
Two Metres Apart was inspired by my dismay and anger at the extraordinary selfishness that Covid-19 brought out in some people. I was furloughed which gave me time to be able to write and refine my poetry. It has also enabled me to join many more open mic nights than I’d normally be able to; with Zoom, geographical distance is no longer a problem, and this has helped encourage me to write much more.