By Claire Boot
Let’s tango at two metres in Tesco
And salsa at six feet in Spar,
Let’s waltz very warily in Waitrose
And foxtrot in a pharmacy from afar.
Let’s mindfully merengue in Morrisons –
In Sainsbury’s, a schismatic ceroc;
Disco from a distance in Asda,
Complete a careful quickstep in Co-op.
Let’s lindy hop at length in Lidl –
In the Post Office, prudently polka;
Do a partitioned paso doble in Poundland
And, in Boots, a bisected bossa nova.
Join the chary cha-cha at the checkout
And the cautious ceilidh in the queue,
As we all try to avoid one another
For the shopping that’s essential to do.
Claire Boot: ‘I wrote this poem in April 2020 in honour of all shop staff everywhere, who were making sure we could still do our essential shopping even in lockdown. I noticed that social distancing transformed the act of shopping into a kind of dance, as everyone tried to navigate the aisles and pick items off the shelves without getting too close to anyone else.’
Claire Boot: I’m a writer, based in Cardiff, with a passion for creative community projects. Find out more at claireboot.com