Mr postman, bring me a dream (bom, bom, bom, bom) Make it an invite for the covid vaccine (bom, bom, bom, bom) Say it will reduce my risk of exposure (bom, bom, bom, bom) And that the pandemic will soon be over
Postman, I’m vulnerable (bom, bom, bom, bom) And all this shielding can feel miserable (bom, bom, bom, bom) Please help me get the vaccine Mr Postman bring me a dream
standing at the back door accommodating winter in gusts, the clear sharp moon in my throat and my friends on a screen on my coffee table but I can’t hear them over the bangs and they have left their seats already to watch their own displays. I had run upstairs with Peter and counted again, at least eight of them, like I did on November 5th. It’s the first year I didn’t hear a countdown – I always forget the Hootenanny ignores the coming of the new year, carries on, and the TV was muted anyway, but this time, with just the two of us in the house, at least in flesh, we did not count but we did kiss late and the bang and crack and light that had been going on since daylight now overtook the house, everyone’s house as our web conference brought six of us together in stereo. Amidst the madness I was grateful for the fireworks blurring one year into the next because the expectation would have been too much weight to place on one count, on ten numbers standing separate and fragile, so instead the community decided we would have a gradual bringing in of cheer, a blurring of time, as it had been all year, and watching all the displays from the back door, the clear sharp moon in my throat made me hopeful, each blast of light and sound proving that despite everything, so many of us were standing upright on this earth and celebrating, still finding some glimmer of joy or hope and throwing it in the air like a penny in a fountain.
Thank you so much if you tuned in to hear me on BBC Radio Northampton this evening! If you would like to read my poem in full, you can see it below. The radio show is available on BBC Sounds here and it’s available for 30 days – just fast forward to 1 hour 41 to hear me!
Happy bank holiday! For me, this long weekend is appearing between scans and checkups, as snatches of joy often do. I had my PET scan on Wednesday, which was a breeze – it’s always easier when you’ve done something before. I had a nap during the scan last time, and this time was no different, except this time my leg didnt jerk in my sleep and wake me up panicking that I had unintentionally moved. The results should come back in a week or two. Next Friday is my gastroscopy, at a completely different hospital, so Peter and I are continuing our tour of the local medical establishments.
Anyway, I wanted to share a poem today, because I haven’t posted one for a while and I haven’t submitted much to lit mags or had anything published for a while, either. Here’s something I wrote on the way home from a friend’s house last week, and the photo that follows is my terrible attempt at taking a photo of the moon that same night.
The moon behind the church
I want to live where I can see the moon. I want to be with people who can see and nod and agree with my assertions about the beauty of the moon. When the traffic slows, I like to think it’s because every driver is trying to get a really good look at the moon. I want us all to turn off our own moons – headlights – and slow to see the moon behind the church.
I pull over to take a picture. Get my good side, it says, keeping its cheek turned. I comply, the photo doesn’t turn out quite right – I don’t have the tools – but I am happy to sit, forget the day the sun had burned, and let my head cool as I admire the moon behind the church.
Did it snow this winter? I can’t remember watching flakes fall from my armchair but really, wrapped in recovery, I was not here.
It was hot last summer. I remember roasting watching the football, sweating walking into town for drinks to help me forget that I was too much here.
I’ve spent sporadic seconds each season wondering what the point is in seeing the next one if illness and fear is all there is for me, if nothing I expected to happen is waiting for me, wishing I wasn’t still here.
Summer is slinking around again and the bio oil I rub on my scars smells like a Floridian hotel in a way I can’t quite identify, but is surely a metaphor for how Orlando in four seasons’ time can heal, can erase, can smooth out, can soften me, can help me remember why I am still here.