Three Poems

By Eithne Cullen

It’s a dog’s life
or dogs in the time of lock down

when you’re suffering in lock down
and you’re feeling quite oppressed
spare a thought for all the dogs
who never get a moment’s rest

they dread the sound of “walkies”
and some try to hide the leads
as they know their daily little outing
feels like marching seven leagues

their owners dress up for the jaunt
in Wellingtons and fleeces
along paths never sniffed before
and tug upon tight leashes

the one hour slot soon turns to two
and three and even four
they’re looking very fit and flushed
when they’re back at their front door

ok for them to sit and rest, drink
wine and eat their dinner
that plate of Chum looks just the same
poor dogs are getting thinner

dogs stretch across the front room floor
they twitch and dream in sleep
don’t even want their evening pee
they’re busy counting sheep

and when this lock down’s been and gone
and dogs are ready for a walk
the humans won’t be in the mood
they’ll be the ones that baulk

There be dragons

We’re winning the man
declares, from behind
the lectern bedecked
with the mockery of
loving the NHS…
in it together, though
we’re clearly not – the
scenario familiar now
commitment to isolation
outlining our options
words of rhetoric and
flattening the curve with
secret strategies while
lurking in familiar
shadows – dragon-like
in suits and wearing badges
our drivers in this
deadly traffic jam

Monochrome

My children asked
“Was there any colour
when you were a girl?
or was the world all
black and white…and grey?”
It was hard to shake off the
monochrome tinted image.

Now their kids will ask
“Is it true you once went out
without a mask? Or
greeted friends with hugs?
Strangers with handshakes?”
It will be hard to shake off
covid shadows from their world.

They’ll know the rituals
face, hands and space. And ask:
“What was a party, then?
Did classrooms buzz? And how
did sixty thousand watch a match,
fly in planes, sit next to strangers on trains?”
It will be hard to shake off the
confusion round the world that it’s become.

Eithne Cullen was born in Dublin and moved to London when she was six years old. She writes stories and poems. She lives with her husband in East London. She is unashamedly proud of her three grown up children, and endeavours to embarrass them as often as she can. 

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