• Sophie Wilson

Four Lockdown Poems

Poems about lockdown, Tinder and feeling like a teenager again.


The cheating sun keeps coming up

and the world has stopped.

The sea creases like it creased

back when we read philosophical meanings

in dual carriageway signs: Stay Alert, Stay Alive.

We go nowhere no more. The sky let out a sigh.

No planes in the air. No restless tourists

in Trafalgar Square. No lovers lurching

through the Louvre. I imagine us, 50 years

from now, wrinkled skin, we played our part.

I still read too much into coincidental meetings,

the evening news and broken hearts.

The summer before it all

Summer screeches in

and I have lived here before.

What’s the reward

for waiting, waiting, waiting?

The train goes by at midnight

and it sounds like regret.

I tell the time by its slow sad sighs.

I tell the time at

Nine, at nine thirty, at ten.

I can tell myself to keep waiting

Like there’s something

certain at the end.

But I guess I’ve learned

that nothing is stable.

my idols disappoint

me. My friends break down

at birthday parties over

plastic cups, over garden tables.

It’s not been the same

since April and I heard someone

say to go insane right now

is a sign of sanity.

Sanity is as hollow as an empty

bottle spinning on its side,

hurtling over the edge,

smashing on the grey patio,

red, crystal, bright sparkling glass.

It’s hard to write about

the future, but people

keep asking me and I keep

thinking about the past.

Now I’m so drunk I can

hardly tie my laces but

this is the nicest

afternoon I’ve had in ages

and I’m waiting, waiting

to see you again,

for the summer before it all to end.

Learning to be sixteen again

Angel, I awoke in an empty bed

to a quiet city and a hangover.

My old habits have unravelled

too many times but

feel new in this strange world

where cafés slumber in the streets.

My empty coffee cups pile up

in the room where I light candles

to pass the time. We exist on

the edge of the news now,

matter much less than we knew.

You muse about God and I’m

learning to slowly be sixteen again.

Tinder in Lockdown

Screens lit up with faces

are the only places we see faces

now but we are used to this game.

Growing up in mirror selfies,

I sold my soul to dating apps.

‘We want you’ she said though

it wasn’t clear from her profile

that she was a we. Perhaps she and he

decided a pandemic was the perfect time

to ‘spice up’ their sex life.

Three days before lockdown

a man in a navy-blue coat

asked me out for a drink.

I said: Don’t you think we should

stay inside so more people don’t die?

He said I was buying into media panic

then he unmatched me. Quickly.

The pubs closed the next day and

all alone I took a silent pleasure

in having proven a stranger wrong.

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