I am really pleased to share this sonnet written in response to the theme of ‘solidarity and care’. It centres on an increased awareness of social distancing during this time of pandemic. In particular, it brings to mind other forms of social distancing; be that through domestic violence, whereby an individual has forcibly reduced physical or emotional contact with others, or where someone is uncomfortable with physical touch.

And so you begin to breathe again in the presence of others,
dreaming first dates and coffee shops, where brushing past
is a touch un-clinical. Scribing everything taken for granted
and kept on hold, you map out new contours of resistance
burgeoning to be shattered: the simple greeting, eyes that
dance in the disc of another, and o that name. To be pursed
on the lips of another, to be sung into being and catch the
echo of sounds exchanged. Even phatic is excessive and
radio chimes discordant compared to this fleshed talking.
Covid mocked your secret living as you chalked up
one metre plus long before: strange now to ache proximity.
Tickets please was a bonus before rush hour and an earnest
spare some change took you by surprise with its rehearsed
freshness as you walked brazenly from a life’s lockdown.

Tagged: #Disabilities #Domesticity #English #Gender #Quarantine #Self-care

20 octubre 2020 — Ryan Service

Ryan Service

Banbury, United Kingdom

Ryan Service is a full time priest and sometime poet. He recently completed a MA in Christian Social Teaching and Public Ethics at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome. His interests include civil society, international volunteering, and cultural studies. Twitter: @rev_ryan1