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,
in disgrace.

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, Recent poems appear in Reflected Light (, Bloody Amazing! (, and The Hail Clamjamfry (   

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.

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3 years ago

Great image of that bird in the street!

Carmine Di Biase
Carmine Di Biase
3 years ago

How fine. A vivid, bracing evocation of the desolation Covid has caused.

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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