By Mandy Macdonald
clematis peers over the hedge
at whatever there might be to see
in the street.
But there are only the cars
parked nose to tail on either side,
on indefinite leave,
Down the middle
a crow walks
shiny and perfect
as a freshly washed hearse.
Mandy Macdonald lives in Aberdeen. Her debut pamphlet, The temperature of blue, is available from Blue Salt Collective, www.bluesalt.co.uk. Recent poems appear in Reflected Light (https://www.greyhenpress.com/books/), Bloody Amazing! (https://www.bloodyamazing.co.uk/the-anthology), and The Hail Clamjamfry (https://www.waterstones.com/book/the-hail-clamjamfry/eddie-gibbons//9781838073916).
This poem was written in June 2020. As non-drivers not in our first youth, my husband and I have been at most three miles from our house since March. Our voyages take place in our heads, on our screens, and, as here, just beyond the front window, as birds and animals begin to repopulate our suburban streets.
I’ve been noticing how often films about plagues or pandemics are showing up on the television; this primal fear is not new, though it’s taking on new meanings in the Anthropocene, as the future thrusts us back into the past.