By Gill McEvoy
One Walk a Day
One walk a day, they said we could take, one walk.
That isn’t much when you have energy, is it?
I sat down to think about my one permitted walk –
where would I go and how long could I take?
And then decided not to walk at all
but to use my one permitted outdoor time
to plant for bees.
Before the lockdown
started I’d sown pansies, golden rod,
ox-eye daisies, marigolds.
So you might have seen me round the village,
on my knees, not praying, but pushing small plants
into holes I’d dug
and maybe then I’d say a tiny prayer
that they’d survive and flourish,
that when summer came
and lockdown eased, the village
would be filled with hoverflies,
beetles, and the sound of bees.
Beyond the Mask
Eyes, making eyes, dark eyes, brown eyes, deep eyes, blue –
all you see beyond the mask is the eyes,
and this man, this vet,
who is checking my dog’s heart-rate right now
has eyes any woman could drown in:
brown, lively, deep-set, mischievous eyes
that dimple and crinkle
and you find yourself forgetting he is simply checking
your dog for normal heart-rate,
pressing his hand close to the dog’s ribs,
applying his stethoscope, then,
as he straightens up to say all is well,
is taken aback to find the owner
speechless and staring.
Gill McEvoy: Hawthornden Fellow. Winner of the 2015 Michael Marks Award for “The First Telling” (Happenstance Press). Published by Happenstance and Cinnamon Presses. Passionate about wildlife and bio-diversity.
Gill McEvoy: I work voluntarily in my village, Yealmpton, Devon, with a group called Bee-wild to plant for bees and other pollinators and when Lock-down began this was the most wonderful way to stay sane! I’ve read far more poetry during this time than I would normally have leisure for so that too has been hugely valuable.