Two Poems

By Andrew Button

Together Apart

Cars could be glued to driveways,
streets and roads are devoid of traffic
and public transport picks up invisible passengers.
Birdsong prevails unobscured by human commotion,
parcels are left on doorsteps
as footsteps recede into the days.
There is no skywriting from planes
and Bob Dylan’s old classic,
These Times They Are A Changin’,
has a new resonance.

Accidents and pollution have diminished
as human recklessness is confined
to overeating and dystopian drinking indoors.
Early siege mentality caused initial brutality
in the toilet roll and hand wash aisles
before the rational view was restored.
Sociable as ants, society had to learn
to curb its natural instincts
to cultivate crowds of activity.

Zooming is booming.
Online time has escalated
as everybody wants to talk.
Like dogs with bones,
mobile phones are cherished and close.
There are virtual workouts,
virtual zoos and virtual shows
with virtual comedians keeping it comical
in this virtual new world
where social distancing
has brought us all
closer together.

No More Superheroes

They don’t wear colourful capes,
wrap criminals up in their webs
or hold up broken bridges
with their bare hands.
They care for the sick, stack shelves
and deliver food to the old and vulnerable.
Like those fictional figures with super powers,
at the end of a busy shift
they shed their working clothes,
leave their alter egos behind
and return to their ordinary existences,
but nobody’s made their story
into a movie yet
and they’re too busy
saving real lives
in the real world
to watch it anyway.

Originally from Nottingham, Andrew Button currently lives in Market Bosworth, Leicestershire. He has had many poems placed in magazines and a pamphlet, Dry Days in Wet Towns, was published in 2016. To date, he has had two collections published, The Melted Cheese on the Cosmic Pizza, (erbacce Press, November 2017), and Music for Empty Car Parks (erbacce press, January 2020).

Together Apart: So many images presented themselves to me during Lockdown and I wanted to reflect what was happening all around us.
The whole situation has a very dystopian feel to it and yet as the same time shows how resourceful and adaptable we can be.

No More Superheroes: As each day and week passed during Lockdown, the wave of appreciation for the NHS and care workers grew. It made realise, how much time is spent generating the image of the superhero in the media when we have ordinary people saving lives all the time, modestly and unassumingly during this Pandemic. So, I have reflected that contrast in this concise poem.

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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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