Lockdown Slam

By Jonathan Dovey

In like a lion and out like a lamb,
This year’s March end is a lockdown slam.

Early doors at the pharmacy,
Isolating against a bitter easterly,
One in one out has the addicts on the twitch
Itching for their juice or shuffling for their scrip.

It doesn’t take a second for the adrenaline to pump,
“Whatchyou fuckin gonna fuckin jump
Up about ?”
“I was ‘ere first, stupid pratt.”
“Step to me now ?”
“Fucking twat”

“Whoa, just come round the other way, I can sort you out”

From behind the counter, a young angel masked
Soothes our desperado, she doesn’t have to ask.
Her lockdown’s gonna be about oil on troubled water
Just practical kindness in the teeth of this manslaughter.

Self imprisoned under house arrest,
Association disallowed,
‘Too close too close” my neighbor cries,
When we threaten to make a crowd.
Permitted out in athleisurewear,
The solitary joggers show how much they care.
And at dusk and dawn the mamil guys,
Race the streets with pleasure undisguised.

Is this the phoney war before the battle starts ?
That threatening flat time that trembles in our hearts ?
Ahead unknown uncertain and how long ?
A miasma of speculation where everything we do is wrong.

But the mortal threat of triage,
Of lungs too drowned to breathe,
Is in each second of our waking days
In lockdown it never leaves.

In like a lion and out like a lamb,
This year’s March end is a lockdown slam.

Jon Dovey is a recovering academic. He writes as The Doggerelist because he likes the idea of  ‘burlesque verse of irregular rhythm’. Verse to be spoken and to be shared, in day to day words that catch a moment. Last year he wrote a series of lockdown poems – a Doggerelist Decameron – that can be found on Soundcloud here:https://soundcloud.com/doggerelist. He’s currently releasing each of last years poems on video on the anniversary of their compositions last year. He is up for readings online, or in the flesh when such delights become possible again. @ProffJon

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