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.
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