Two Poems

By Hannah Stone

Contraband

Local restrictions announced.
My washing machine died.
Neighbourly spirit trumped compliance,
kindly chaps visited my poorly appliance.
Masked like bandits, we danced on the spot
in my tiny kitchen to avoid touching
as we woman-handled the recalcitrant device
out of its snug home between sink and fridge.

After an appropriate elegy, I am invited
to bring my dirty laundry into a clean kitchen
for purification. We conduct our illegal operation
under cover of dark; speak in whispers
as I shove my contraband load
into the device of someone not a family member
nor in my support bubble.

I retreat to the safe confines of home,
wash my hands, wait to receive
the fenced goods of clean sheets and towels.
I have never been grouse shooting
so cannot arm myself in preparation
for that knock on the door.

This is all true

Till now, my night-time dreams
have been as covid-compliant
as my day dreams had been rebellious.
Last night was different. I’d landed
at an east coast airport, found myself
at a community college in search of coffee,
which was made by a smiling woman.
It was the usual wishy-washy blend, with half and half.
A pretty young man handed me change for 89 cents,
with three breath mints.
My dreamily non-arthritic hips
hoisted me nimbly onto a high stool
and I wrapped both hands round the heavy china mug.
Glanced round. No masks, no sanitiser,
no spaced-out footprints on the floor.
People touching .
I drank big gulps of shit American coffee,
tasted guilty freedom, and was thankful.
Woke to the news Trump and his consort have tested positive
for the virus he doesn’t really believe in.
This is all true. But I appreciate your need to fact check,
and I thank you for your time.

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