Two Poems

By Claire Cox

Healing in the Time of Corona

Abscess, the vet’s said. Hind hoof
bulked in a poultice, the lame cob
waits in the concrete yard.
Her hand hovers behind his poll,
follows the meridian one span down
from the crest of his neck.
We watch for a flicker, blink, lipcurl
to yield up his site of pain. Nothing.
She waits for him to lead her, air touching
along this invisible line, this invitation.
We look on, two meters or so apart –
his neck softens, muzzle lowers,
eyes shift their gaze from this world,
its hawthorn hedge, its breezy paddock.

Send Off for the Captain

I want to throw flower heads
onto the road in front of him
but fear the petals might stick
to the widow’s window
or worse obscure the driver’s windscreen
resulting in more funerals.

We’ll line the street for him, for sure,
those, like us, who didn’t want to livestream
the service, uncomfortable with remote
viewing, its shiver of morbid voyeurism.

Those, like us, who miss his massy ebullience,
his festival-goer’s hangovers, those who nurse
their own unspoken sense of him, we will
line the road in borrowed
sports shirts, bid him farewell
in some way we don’t yet know.

Born in Hong Kong, Claire is Associate Editor for ignitionpress, and a research student at Royal Holloway studying poetry and disaster. She’s included in Primers: Volume Five published by Nine Arches Press.

I’m sending these poems as I think they reflect the weirdly liminal state of how my life functions at the moment. I’m both deeply affected by how widespread Covid 19 has become, as well learning how to navigate old collective rites and activities in new ways. I’m sure this sense of being destabilised in familiar places is shared by many people, and hope that sharing these poems may help in some way.

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Lucy Heuschen
3 years ago

Thank you for these poems, Claire. I especially like your slanted take on corona times, where everyday circumstances are imbued with new precautions and ceremonies.

3 years ago

So lovely

Poetry and Covid-19 ARCHIVE (This website archives the over 1000 poems submitted by over 600 poets, and viewed by over 100,000 from over 125 countries during the Covid-19 pandemic, June 2020-June 2021). Thank you to all who took part in the Poetry and Covid project.

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