by Martina Swift
I walked warily along familiar quiet corridors of learning
Peculiar pattern of hand sanitisers pinned outside classrooms
One long month of optimism, the calm before the storm.
I regurgitated new procedures, walked the safety route.
I knew the rules – fearless.
Youths bumbling tumbling and falling into each other’s arms
Social distancing forgotten, no slither of daylight between them
Six long months of boredom, on remand from computer screens
Adults do the distance dance at each encounter.
We know the rules – foolhardy.
Teachers Redress expectations, soon undone once out of earshot
Elders scuttle away for cover, peel their wits off the floor
The indestructible youths reinstate the ‘old normal’.
Promised tests long in the offering. Tick tock!
They make the rules – feverishly.
Devotees of news bulletins gawp as a familiar cycle begins
Spain, France, colourful climbing graphs, busy ambulances
September is March on repeat. Hope says no.
Kingdoms pull up drawbridges. Take cover.
We broke the rules – finance.
May I have a fortress against the onslaught of the tidal wave
Sentence me behind a screen once more. Oh, to be zoom fatigued.
Tears for the soldiers of medicine, ready for battle.
‘Fear we go again’. Makeshift hospitals dusted.
Rules for the ‘new normal’ – faithless.
( re-print of her prize-winning writing in the THACS Writing Competition September 2020)
© Copyright Martina Swift - THACS Writers Online 2020