Poem of the week: The Siege of Corona

A new work by Anne Haverty

A new shoot emerges from a drain on Dublin's Grafton Street during the Covid-19 lockdown. Photograph: Getty Images/iStockphoto

A new shoot emerges from a drain on Dublin's Grafton Street during the Covid-19 lockdown. Photograph: Getty Images/iStockphoto

 

Grass is growing on Grafton Street.
Plague notices are yellowing the glass.
A lone walker wearing her covid dress –
Runners, gym-pants, anxiety, mask.

My ham sandwich can taste of bleach.

But look – it’s not the siege of Leningrad.
These early summer nights are soft.
Soothing souls with our home-baked bread,
No one has to eat the dog.

The sun is bright, the roses burgeon.
Tares are climbing the steps of the Odeon.

Around the park the children cycle, and round
Again. Locked in, locked out. Waiting
By the wall in the queue at the provender’s,
My hair is paling. My fragile being losing
Itself in the scrum of the little screen.

Like the emptied streets we’re going to grass.

What else will push up through the cracks?

Anne Haverty
Anne Haverty

Anne Haverty is a novelist and poet. Her latest collection is A Break in the Journey (2018)