Two Poems

By Sharon Philips

Locked Down

a car murmurs past
the end of the street

a lily petal ticks
as it falls
to the floor

our dog snuffles
in her sleep
the boiler clicks off

next door
someone coughs

a phone shrills

An English Idyll

Bronze water gurgles over
the weir, willow branches dip
and sway, a man stands aside

nodding as I run past him,
banks are badged with the bright
enamel gleam of celandines,

today’s quiet broken by the pad
of my footsteps on the path
and the creak of swings dangling

empty in the park, its grass
unmown this season, bins marked
out of use. A black bag droops

from a thorn bush in bloom,
two drakes clatter near the weir.
An ambulance wails uphill.

Sharon stopped writing poetry in 1976 and started again forty years later, when she retired from her career in education. Her poems have been published online and in print, most recently in the Places of Poetry anthology and Ink, Sweat and Tears. She lives in Otley, West Yorkshire.

During the quiet of the first lockdown, I found myself noticing small details of the world around me, which I might previously have overlooked. The poems I have submitted commemorate this at different stages in the lockdown, from the unnerving near-silence of our house while my husband was in hospital at the start of lockdown, to the time in May when things were — just — starting to happen again.

Writing was a great solace to me during lockdown, in particular the first three weeks when my husband was in hospital: having something to focus on stopped me worrying as much as I might otherwise have done.

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