• Asirini Parakramawansha

Locked Together

Lock down.

It sounds like the title for one of those psychedelic horror films.

Turning my all-day-everyday pyjamas into a straitjacket.

Spiking the coffee that shakes in my hand,

in front of the calmly panicking media on the TV,

with some form of morphine.

Maybe it's appropriate because I sometimes think I'm mad.

I sang on Wednesday.

To people on a screen.

Only the mad sing nursery rhymes at the age of 16.

But 16, 4, 85 and whatever else categories we were split into before,

Fell beneath the swelling curve of our insanity.

Now, the boring old lady down the street,

Weaves tales of what the world looked like before I was born.

From beyond a portal in my hand.

Now the children whose names I never bothered to learn,

Have tea parties with me across the phone.

I tried to share my earl grey through the camera. 

Only the really doolally give drinks to their computers.

And the other day, we all congregated through our windows,

Greeting faces that were only ever seen on dog walks,

With solidarity and a smile.

As we applauded the efforts of our masked saviours.

Then someone put on music and we danced.

As if this epidemic was not a killer,

Was not even real.

And we were all just figures on a tapestry of the plague of 1518.

I learned to waltz in my straitjacket.

As I waltzed,




And birdsong replaced the once omnipresent buzz of cars, 

I realised that although we all seemed stark raving mad,

I had never felt more free or sane before.

Perhaps 'lock down' is the word they use in the media to frame the horrors of death.

Of struggle and fear.

But here in our mad little cul de sac,

we are not on lock down.

We are locked together.

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