Round the Ring

By Julie Cameron

Frost on the drive, glistening in the morning sunlight
Ding-a-ding-a, phone alert, rippling up a chord.
The postman on his round.
I spot him on my screen.
The post clatters through my letter box.

Cat strolls silently over the step
Scrapes a hole in the raised border.
Does its business, wanders off.

Bored with my lockdown existence,
Sat in my joggers,
My work-at-home life playing out,
I survey its stage
From a secret ringside seat.
A watcher, unwatched.

The doorbell rings.
A couple, smartly dressed.
Have they come to convert me?
I let them walk away.
Make some coffee.
Then: ding-a-ding-a, the phone illuminates.

It’s Jez. He pounds the door.
Looking good, I must admit.
Rounding off his multiplicity of messaging
(Which I’ve ignored)
With a personal visit.

But before I can reach him
Emotions spiralling like my stairs
He leaves a circlet of flowers on my doorstep
And I watch his back receding
Down the long gleaming path.

Julie Cameron is working on a novel set around World War 1, but takes time out to write short stories and poems which reflect on current issues.

This piece was inspired by the reduction of the scope of many of our lives brought as a result of the pandemic. Whilst many have widened their relationship with their local communities, others have become isolated observers of a reduced world. The video doorbell has the potential to turn us into voyeurs of the lives of others as a release from solitude.

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