April Saturday (Virus Time)

By William Coniston

Through a gap between the edge of the world and the sun’s chin resting on a skylark you can hear a blackbird pirouetting, and a robin raging at a pruned bush, while Carol tells her whippet to have a zoom round the field but he won’t do it to order. Ken wears a beanie over Jeannette’s number 3 and says his head’s bloody cold. Dave moved into Cherry Tree Row from Fairweather Green three weeks ago, before it all kicked off, bringing his dog, eight cats and a walking stick, and says he’s well known in the restaurant at Woodbank. Phoebe’s named one of Jane’s new chickens Leia; Tilly and Charlie will name the others. Rosie finishes The Phoenix that came yesterday and makes origami cranes and pyramids. Lena and James have a family picnic at Hallas Bridge falls; Ulle and Otis fight the whole time. Their dog Doris has wheels for back legs. Woodpeckers rattle up the evening valley. Mark Rylance looks just like his grandfather in the war. The moon’s nearly full, of love beamed from Venus.

William Coniston wrote boring legal documents for years but now he’s written three scary novels for 8-13s, a lot more fun. He lives in West Yorkshire and also writes poetry.

The many negative aspects of the COVID-19 pandemic throw positive aspects of life into sharper relief and perhaps it’s teaching us to appreciate them more. The poem is a celebration of a lovely spring Saturday at the height of lockdown when I had a walk, chatted with others encountered along the way (suitably distanced), later talked to family and friends via the web and after sunset watched a little TV. Venus was bright in the night sky.

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